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Friday, February 4, 2011

Indian Bank Rural Marketing Officers Exam 2010 - English Paper - Part 1

Directions-(Q. 1-15) Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words have been printed in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.

"We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals. We now know that it is bad said American President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937 in the midst of the Great Depression. And the world has learnt that enlightened self-interest is good economics all over again after the Great Recession of 2009. Americans are entering a period of social change as they are recalibrating their sense of what it means to be a citizen, not just through voting or volunteering but also through commerce. There is a new dimension to civic duty that is growing among Americans - the idea that they can serve not only by spending time in communities and classrooms but by spending more responsibily. In short, Americans are beginning to put their money where their ideals are.

In a recent poll most said they had consciously supported local or small neighbourhood businesses and 40 per cent said that they had purchased a product because they liked the social or political values of the company that produced it. People were alarmed about 'blood diamonds' mined in war zones and used to finance conflict in Africa. They were also willing to pay $2000 more for a car that gets 35 miles per gallon than for one that gives less, though the former is more expensive but environment friendly. Of course consumers have done their own doing-well by doing-good calculation - a more expensive car that gives better mileage will save them money in the long run and makes them feel good about protecting the environment. Moreover since 1995, the number of Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) mutual funds, which generally avoid buying shares of companies that profit from tobacco, oil or child labour has grown from 55 to 260. SRI funds now manage approxi mately 11 percent of all the money invested in the US financial markets-an estimated $ 2.7 trillion. This is evidence of a changing mindset in a nation whose most iconic economist Milton Friedman wrote in 1970 that a corporation's only moral responsib ility was to increase shareholder profits.

At first the corporate stance was defensive : companies were punished by consumers for unethical behaviour such as discriminatory labour practices. The nexus of activist groups, consumers and government regulation could not merely tarnish a company but put it out of business. But corporate America quickly discerned that social responsibility attracts investment capital as well as customer loyalty, creating a virtuous circle. Some companies quickly embraced the new ethos that con sumers boycotted products they con sidered unethical and others purchase products in part because their manufacturers were responsibile. With global warming on the minds of many consumers lots of companies are racing to 'outgreen' each other. The most progressive companies are talking about a triple bottom line-profit, planet and people-that focuses on how to run a business while trying to improve environmental and worker conditions.

This is a time when the only thing that has sunk lower than the American public's opinion of Congress is its opinion of business. One burning question is how many of these Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives are just shrewd marketing to give companies a halo effect ? After all only 8 per cent of the large American corporations go through the trouble of verifying their CSR reports, which many consumers don't bother to read. And while social responsibility is one way for companies to get back their reputations, Consumers too need to make ethical choices.

1. Which of the following represent/s the change/s that has/have occurred in the American outlook ?
(1) The perception that the government needs to invest resources in business rather than in education.
(2) Loss of faith in American corporations as they do not disburse their profits equitably among shareholders.
(3) Americans have cut down on their expenditure drastically to invest only in socially responsible mutual funds.
None  Only (3)  Only (1) & (2)  Only (1) & (3)  All (1), (2) & (3)
 

2. Which of the following is/are TRUE in the context of the passage ?
(1) The voter turnout during the 2009 American elections was high.
(2) African diamonds are highly valued by the American public.
(3) American firms have to spend vast amounts on advertising because activists cast aspersions on their images.
None  Only (1)  Only (2) and (3)  Only (3)  Only (1) and (3)
 

3. To what does the author attribute the consumers' willingness to purchase environment friendly vehicles ?
Auto companies sell these types of vehicles at lower rates in order to boost sales in times of recession.  The realisation that consumers' greed caused the economic recession of 2009.  To show their support for small entrepreneurs who are the manufacturers of such vehicles.
  They have to comply with government guidelines regarding reduction of carbon emissions.  None of these
 

4. Which of the following is the central idea of the passage ?
It is beneficial to invest in American companies as they are socially responsible and profitable.  Large corporations should be penalised by the American government for their greed.
  Ethical consumerism is profitable for organisations as well as society as a whole.
  Companies should be required by law to account for their impact on the environment in their balance-sheet.  Developing countries should learn how to combat child labour from America.
 

5. Which of the following best describes the widespread view among Americans about big corporations ?
They have been lax in fulfilling their moral responsibility of increasing profits and benefit ting shareholders.  They are being too severely penalised by activities and the government for their role in the economic crisis.  Their innovations have brought commercial success and benefited America tremendously.
  They need to be held accountable for their ruthless business practices.  Their balance-sheets are often fraudulent and deceive shareholders.
 

6. What is the author trying to convey through the phrase 'companies are racing to outgreen each other' ?
The competition among companies to boost their bottom line is very stiff.  The conflict facing businesses of whether to benefit their shareholders or the environment.  Corporations are vying with each other to solicit investment.  Companies are striving to find the necessary funds to finance their environment friendly initiatives.  None of these
 

7. Which of the following factors has led to corporations adopting more socially responsible practices ?
The desire to be labelled as progressive by the government.  Guilt over causing the economic downturn.  High attrition rates as employees do not support the companies' practices.  Recognition of the changing demands of customers.  Strict penalties imposed by governments against companies with unfair practices.
 

8. What can be inferred from the statistics mentioned about SRI mutual funds in the passage ?
(1) The percentage of child labourers has fallen since 1995.
(2) At present tobacco companies are making huge losses.
(3) The government needs to regulate SRI mutual funds as they handle vast amounts of funds.
None  Only (1)  Only (1) and (2)  Only (3)  Only (2) and (3)
 

9. What is the author's view about companies' documentation of CSR initiatives ?
Since it is not certified by the government it cannot be considered authentic.  It is the ideal way to earn customer loyalty and set a good example for small businesses  It is a waste of time as neither consumers nor companies bother to determine their validity  It should be mandatorily incorporated in the satement of accounts of any firm.  None of these
 

10. Which of the following cannot be said about small business ?
(1) During the recession their profits have been higher than those made by big corporates.
(2) They adopt fair labour practices and environment friendly methods of production.
(3) They have managed to acquire an investment of over 11 per cent of American capital.
Only (1) and (3)  Only (3)  All (1), (2) and (3)  Only (2)  None of these
 

Directions-(Q. 11-13) Choose the word which is MOST SIMILAR in MEANING to the word printed in bold as used in the passage.

11. Ideals
Models  Visions  Perfection  Paradigms  Values
 

12. Embraced
Clinched  Adopted  Seized  Hugged  Encompassed
 

13. Attracts
Appeals  Encourages  Captives  Fascinates  Pleases
 

Directions-(Q. 14-15) Choose the word which is MOST OPPOSITE in MEANING to the word printed in bold as used in the passage.

14. Enlightened
Illiterate  Inept  Ignorant  Illogical  Immature
 

15. Heedless
Prudent  Obedient  Observable  Noticeable  Wary
 

Part I        Part II        Part III        Part IV

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