Unseen Passage for Class 10 ICSE With Answers

Unseen Passage: Reading Comprehension (also known as Critical Reading) tests your ability to understand a passage and answer questions on the basis of what is stated and implied through the passage. You need to read the passage first so that you can identify the main idea and appreciate features such as the author’s tone and attitude as well as the organization of the passage. Scroll back to the relevant points in the text for each question.

Looking for an easy way to Learning of English Grammar Exercises for Class 10 ICSE. You have to learn basic English Grammer topics like Tenses Verbs, Nouns, etc… In this article, we will review the best English Grammer Topics and compare them against each other.

Unseen Passage for Class 10 ICSE with Answers PDF Free Download

Comprehension is evident when readers can:

  • Interpret and evaluate events, dialogue, ideas, and information;
  • Connect information to what they already know;
  • Adjust current knowledge to include new ideas or look at those ideas in a different way;
  • Determine and remember the most important points in the reading;
  • Read “between the lines” to understand underlying meanings.

Comprehension strategies work together like a finely tuned machine. The reader begins to construct meaning by selecting and previewing the text. During reading, comprehension builds through predicting, inferring, synthesizing, and seeking answers to questions that arise. After reading, deeper meaning is constructed through reviewing, re-reading portions of the text, discussion, and thoughtful reflection. Comprehension is powerful because the ability to construct meaning comes from the mind of the reader.

Steps in Attempting a Comprehension Passage Exercise

1. Reading comprehension implies understanding the meaning of a given article or a short passage. Comprehension tests are meant to review the understanding level of the students.

2. Students need to have a complete understanding of the passage before attempting to answer the questions.

3. Do not use outside knowledge in selecting or formulating your answer. Always answer only from what is in the passage. Any answer that cannot be supported with information written or implied in the passage should be eliminated.

4. Students should always be extra careful when reading the instructions. You may miss or even misunderstand important points. For example, if you are asked for antonyms or synonyms for a particular word that is in the passage, then consider the context first. Sometimes, an answer may seem familiar because it is the correct response to a different question. In addition, if you are instructed to mark your answers in a particular fashion, failure to do so may cost you credit for a correct answer.

5. Make a habit of reading the choices that are provided to you before answering the questions to be sure you aren’t fooled by nearly correct choices.

6. Whenever you are given a passage to read followed by several questions to be answered, always read the questions first. By doing this, you are well aware of what to look for in the passage when you read. This helps you focus your attention on important words and phrases, allowing you to skim, rather than having to read every word. Also, you can mark the passage lightly when you see one of those terms, making it easy to find when you’re ready to verify your answer.

7. After you are finished with the questions, review your paper at least twice to check for recording errors. This will help you correct your answers or rephrase your sentences, if necessary.

There are two elements that make up the process of reading comprehension:

vocabulary knowledge and text comprehension. In order to understand a text the reader must be able to comprehend the vocabulary used in the piece of writing. If individual words don’t make sense then the overall story will neither.

In a comprehension exercise there may be questions which ask you to give meanings of certain words or phrases as used in the passage. These words or phrases may have more than one meaning. You are supposed to give that meaning of the word or phrase which explains its usage in the passage. The meaning of the word should be given in that same form of speech in which the original word is given.

Similarly, to test your text comprehension skills you may be asked to pass a judgment or give an inference on a certain text in the passage. In all such cases you must ensure that your answer contains information only from the passage and is not based on your own views.

Summary Writing

A summary is a shortened version of a text that highlights the main points of the latter. The primary purpose of a summary is to “give an accurate, objective representation of the work.” To write a summary, use your own words to express briefly the main idea and relevant detail of the piece you have read. Your purpose in writing the summary is to give the basic ideas of the original reading. While reading the original work, take note of what or who is the focus and ask the usual questions that reporters use: Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? Using these questions to examine what you are reading can help you to write the summary.

Sometimes, the central idea of the piece is stated in the introduction or first paragraph, and the supporting ideas of this central idea are presented one by one in the following paragraphs. Always read the introductory paragraph thoughtfully and look for a thesis statement. Finding the thesis statement is like finding a key to a locked door. However, the thesis, or central idea, is implied or suggested.

Precision in Summary Writing

In writing the summary, let your reader know the piece that you are summarizing. Identify the title, author and source of the piece. You may do it in the following way.

In “Title of the Piece” (source and date of piece), the author supports the main idea by using _____ and showing that _____.

  • Do not rewrite the original piece.
  • Keep your summary short.
  • Use your own wording.
  • Refer to the central and main ideas of the original piece.
  • Read with who, what, when, where, why and how questions in mind.
  • Do not put in your opinion of the issue or topic discussed in the original piece. Often, instructors ask students to put their opinions in a paragraph separate from the summary.

1. Writing a good summary demonstrates that you clearly understand a text and that you can communicate the same to your readers.

2. A summary can be tricky to write at first because it’s tempting to include too much or too little information. Follow the eight-step method for a good summary.

Step 1.

Skim and Scan: First, skim the text you are going to summarize and divide it into sections. Focus on any headings and subheadings. Also look at any bold-faced terms and make sure you understand them before you read.

Step 2.

Read: Now that you’ve prepared, go ahead and read the selection. At this point, you don’t need to stop. Just read till the end to get a feel for the author’s tone, style, and main idea.

Step 3.

Re-read: Re-reading should be active reading. Underline topic sentences and key facts. Label areas that you want to refer to as you write your summary. Also label areas that should be avoided because the details, though they may be interesting but are too specific. Identify areas that you do not understand and try to clarify those points.

Step 4.

One sentence at a time: You should now have a firm grasp on the text you will be summarizing. In steps 1-3, you divided the piece into sections and located the author’s main ideas and points. Now, write down the main idea of each section in one well-developed sentence. Make sure that what you include in your sentences are key points, not minor details.

Step 5.

Write a thesis statement: This is the key to any well-written summary. Review the sentences you wrote in step 4. From them, you should be able to create a thesis statement that clearly communicates what the entire text was trying to achieve. If you find that you are not able to do this step, then you should go back and make sure your sentences have actually addressed the key points.

Step 6.

Ready to write: At this point, your first draft is virtually done. You can use the thesis statement as the introductory sentence of your summary, and your other sentences can make up the body. Make sure that they are in order. Add some transition words (then, however, also, moreover) that help with the overall structure and flow of the summary. And once you are actually putting pen to paper, you can remember these tips.

  • Write in the present tense.
  • Make sure to include the author and title of the work.
  • Be concise: a summary should not be equal in length to the original text.
  • If you must use the words of the author, cite them.
  • Don’t put your own opinions, ideas, or interpretations into the summary. The purpose of writing a summary is to accurately represent what the author wanted to say, not to provide a critique.

Step 7.

Check for accuracy: Re-read your summary and make certain that you have accurately represented the author’s ideas and key points. Make sure that you have correctly cited anything directly quoted from the text. Also check to make sure that your text does not contain your own commentary on the piece.

Step 8.

Revise: Once you are certain that your summary is accurate, you should (as with any piece of writing) revise it for style, grammar, and punctuation.

Sample Passages

1. Read the following passage and answer the questions that follow:

The Battle of Chancellorsville was one of the most famous battles fought during the turbulent years of the American Civil War. This battle was fought between the Union Army of Potomac and the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. It took place in Virginia in the spring of 1863. For days at stretch, the two armies had been staked out on opposite banks of a narrow river. The Confederate troops were led by perhaps the most revered military tactician in American history, General Robert E. Lee. The Union soldiers were led by “Fighting” Joe Hooker.

In appearance, personality, and lifestyle, the two commanders were nearly perfect opposites. Robert Lee, the Commander of the Confederate Army, was an older man in poor health with a gray beard, and somber, measured demeanor. Quite unlike him, Joe Hooker was a blond, strapping young man whose vanity over his appearance was but one aspect of his egotism. While Lee was devout and principled, Hooker was known for his rollicking enjoyment of both women and whiskey.

Despite the fact that the Confederacy had won the last four major battles and the Union soldiers were famished, exhausted, and demoralized, Hooker proclaimed, “My plans are perfect. And when I start to carry them out, may God have mercy on Bobby Lee, for I shall have none.” Why, aside from a propensity for narcissism, was Hooker so confident? Hooker had used spies, analysts, and even hot air balloons to compile a vast amount of intelligence about Lee’s army. He had discerned, for example, that Lee had only 61,000 men to Hooker’s own 134,000.

Buoyed by his superior numbers, Hooker covertly moved 70,000 of his men fifteen miles up and across the river, and then ordered them to sneak back down to position themselves behind Lee’s army. In effect, Hooker had cut off the Confederate soldiers in front and behind. They were trapped. Satisfied with his advantage, Hooker became convinced that Lee’s only option was to retreat to Richmond, thus assuring a Union victory.

Yet Lee, despite his disadvantages of both numbers and position, did not retreat. Instead, he moved his troops into position to attack. Union soldiers who tried to warn Hooker that Lee was on the offensive were dismissed as cowards. Having become convinced that Lee had no choice but to retreat, Hooker began to ignore reality. When Lee’s army attacked the Union soldiers at 5:00 p.m., they were eating supper, completely unprepared for battle. They abandoned their rifles and fled as Lee’s troops came shrieking out of the brush, bayonets drawn. Against all odds, Lee won the Battle of Chancellorsville, and Hooker’s forces withdrew in defeat.

Comprehension Questions and Answers

(a) Give the meaning of each of the following words as used in the passage. One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.

(i) Revered

(ii) Propensity

(iii) Discerned


(i) Admired and held in high esteem.

(ii) An inclination or natural tendency to behave in a particular way.

(iii) Recognized or comprehended mentally.

(b) Answer the following questions briefly, in your own words.

(i) When and where did the Battle of Chancellorsville take place? Between whom was this battle fought?

(ii) Why did Hooker lose the battle?

(iii) Draw a contrast between the personalities of Lee and Hooker.

(iv) Why was Hooker confident of victory against Lee?

(v) What was Lee’s plan to win the battle?


(i) The Battle of Chancellorsville took place in Virginia, in the spring of 1863. It was fought between the Confederate Army of North Virginia led by General Robert Lee and the Union Army of Potomac led by Joe Hooker.

(ii) Hooker is portrayed as an over confident, self-absorbed leader, by the author. His narcissitic attitude led him to believe that his planning, spying, analysis techniques were absolutely flawless. He underestimated the opposite side. He got swayed by his superior numbers and ignored the warning bells by his own soldiers. As a result of his over confidence, indisciplined behaviour, Hooker failed to prepare his soldiers for battle, and lost.

(iii) General Robert E. Lee was an old man with a grey beard and not very healthy. Joe Hooker was a fair man with light eyes and hair. He looked young and strong. Lee behaved in a serious sober manner while Hooker displayed excessive pride over his appearance and was a self seeking young man who loved himself. He enjoyed the materialistic things in life while Lee led a religious principled life.

(iv) Hooker was confident of victory because he had gathered a lot of information about Lee’s army. Hooker’s army had almost twice the number of men as compared to Lee’s army. Hooker moved half of his army behind Lee’s army and trapped Lee’s men both from the front and the back. Hooker hoped that faced with such a situation Lee would retreat with his army and Hooker would win the battle.

(v) Lee’s plan was to go on to the offensive and attack Hooker’s army. He was not concerned about his limited strength or his weak position. He had decided to lead from the front and take charge to the enemy camp.

(c) In not more than 50 words write how Hooker planned to defeat Lee.


Joe Hooker, the leader of Union Army of Potomac, used spies, analysts and hot air balloons to accumulate information about the Confederate army, led by General Lee. As Hooker had almost double number of soldiers as compared to Lee, Hooker planned to trap Lee’s army between his soldiers whom he positioned both in front and at the back of Lee’s army.

2. Read the following passage and answer the questions that follow:

There is no denying that the major function of the army is to maintain law and order in times of deep crisis. However, we must not forget that the need to maintain law and order also arises in normal times. It is in these times that we need another force that compels citizens to obey the law and to act with due regard to the rights of others. The force also protects the lives and the properties of law abiding citizens.

Laws are essentially made to secure the personal safety of the citizens of a country. They aim to prevent different types of crimes that pose threat to the security of people and safety of their property, such as larceny, murder and numerous other illegal practices involving violence of any type. Besides ensuring security of the property of the citizens against theft and damage, laws also try to protect the rights of communities and castes to carry out their customs and ceremonies, so long as they do not conflict with the rights of others.

It is important to note that the enforcement of laws multiplies the duties and responsibilities of citizens towards themselves. Those among them, who can be identified as good citizens, obey these laws and take care that everything they do is done with due regard to the rights and well-being of others. Sadly, however, there are people who do not show a natural keenness to understand the true significance of laws.

These people, who can be called bad citizens, often seem to be reluctant in terms of their willingness to follow laws. Such citizens are only restrained from breaking these laws by fear of the consequence of their actions. That is why it becomes necessary for the law-enforcing agencies to take steps to compel a bad citizen, so that they may start acting as a good citizen.

It is significant to note in this regard that the supreme control of law and order in a State is usually in the hands of the Home Minister who is responsible to the State Assembly. He/she is assisted by a number of bureaucrats, including the Home Secretary, besides additional and joint secretaries. The Inspector General of Police, who heads the police force in a state, carries out the orders issued by the Home Ministry. He / she too has a hierarchy of police officers under him. Thus, to maintain law and order in any state, there is a vast chain of officials.

Comprehension Questions and Answers

(a) Give the meaning of each of the following words as used in the passage.

One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.

(i) Compels

(ii) Violence

(iii) Restrained


(i) To force somebody to do something.

(ii) Behaviour which harms or damages someone / something physically.

(iii) Controlled.

(b) Answer the following questions briefly, in your own words.

(i) What does the force or law help in?

(ii) State the role played by the police in the day to day life of man.

(iii) What is the central idea of the passage?

(iv) Who has the supreme control of law and order situation of the state? How?

(v) Briefly describe the importance of laws.


(i) The force of law helps in transforming irresponsible citizens into responsible ones.

(ii) The police is responsible for protecting privileges of all citizens, check violent activities that prevail within the society and ensure peace among citizens by safeguarding one’s own individual rights.

(iii) The passage discusses the role of the army and police in different circumstances.

(iv) The supreme control of law and order in a State is in the hands of the Home Minister who is responsible to the State Assembly and is assisted by the Inspector General of Police, Home Secretary and other bureaucrats.

(v) Laws aim to prevent different types of crimes that pose threat to the security of people and safety of their property, such as larceny, murder and numerous other illegal practices involving violence of any type. Besides ensuring security of the property of the citizens against theft and damage, laws also try to protect the rights of communities and castes so long as they do not conflict with the rights of others.

(c) In not more than 50 words, write a summary of the above passage.


The passage deals with the importance of laws, and the various functions played by the law-enforcing agencies in different ways. It further highlights the factors that account for a citizen’s conformity to the laws of the land and

it also describes the hierarchy of law-enforcing agencies.



The worst days of any summer are the rainy ones. We spend all year looking forward to nice weather and long, hot days. All of winter, with its dreary gray days and bitter cold, we dream of those endless days at the beach, laying on the sand and soaking in the bright and burning sun. And then, summer comes, and it rains.

As a child, I would wake up to rainy summer days and come close to crying. It wasn’t fair. We suffered through months of school and miserable weather for those scant ten weeks of freedom and balmy weather. Any day that I could not spend at the beach or playing ball with my friends seemed like a punishment for something I didn’t even do. On those rainy summer days, I had nothing to do and could only sit inside, staring out at the rain like a Dickensian orphan. I was an only child, so there was no one else to play with.

My father worked from home, so I was not truly alone, but he could not actively play with me since he was technically at work. It was those days that I would resign myself to whatever was on television or any books that I could find lying around. I’d crawl through the day and pray each night that the rain would not be there the next day.

As an adult, though, my opinion of summer rain has changed. When you have to work every day, summer is not as eagerly anticipated. Mostly, the days run together, bleeding into each other so that they no longer seem like separate entities and instead feel like continuations of the same long day. Everything seems monotonous and dull, and an ennui or listlessness kicks in. Such a mindset makes you cheer for anything new or different.

I spend the winter dreaming of summer and the summer dreaming of winter. When summer comes, I complain about how hot it is. And then I look forward to the rain, because the rain brings with it a cold front, which offers a reprieve admittedly one that is all too short from the torture of hot and humid days. Rainy days are still the worst days of the summer, but summer rain today means positively beautiful and considerably cooler weather tomorrow.


(a) Give the meaning of each of the following words as used in the passage. One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.


(i) Monotonous

(ii) Ennui

(iii) Torture

(b) Answer the following questions briefly, in your own words.

(i) Why does the author call the rainy days the worst days of any summer?

(ii) What does the author mean by the phrase Dickensian orphan used in the passage?

(iii) How has the author’s opinion about the summer rain changed as an adult?

(iv) What does the author feel about the changing seasons summer to winter and vice-versa?

(v) Based on the description of the climatic features given in this passage, identify the region to which the author belongs.


(c) In about 50 words, describe the author’s childhood experience of summer rain.



It is breakfast time. You have been looking forward to eating a nice ripe banana ever since you woke up. Just when you reach for the delicious piece of fruit on your counter, you see something that makes you much less hungry: a swarm of fruit flies!

Fruit flies are tiny insects that are attracted to ripe or rotting fruits and vegetables. The flies not only eat the fruit but they also lay their eggs there. A single fruit fly can lay up to 500 eggs on the surface of a piece of fruit. Within eight days, the fruit flies that hatch from these eggs are full adults that can then lay their own eggs. As you can see, what might start out as a small fruit fly problem can become very large very quickly.

Although there is a chance fruit flies can carry germs on to your food, this is not very likely. Fruit flies are annoying, but they probably will not hurt you. Because they are such a nuisance, however, most people want to get rid of these pesky bugs as quickly as possible. Some people use pesticide sprays on the fruit flies. Although this will kill the flies, it will also spread harmful poison all over your kitchen. Luckily, there is also a completely safe way for you to get rid of fruit flies in your house.

The first step is for you to remove all fruits or vegetables from your counter. Store these items in the refrigerator or in sealed containers. Clean up any spilled juice or bits of food that might be on the floor. Take out the trash and empty the recycling bin. Wash any dirty dishes that are in your sink. Doing all of these things will stop new fruit flies from finding food or places to lay their eggs.

Next, make a trap to catch all of the remaining fruit flies in your house.

First, fill a small bowl with a few tablespoons of vinegar. Then, put a piece of very ripe or rotting fruit into the vinegar. Cover the bowl very tightly with a sheet of plastic wrap and poke a few very small holes in the wrap with a fork. If all goes according to plan, the flies will enter the trap through the holes but will be unable to fly back out. This trap will catch all of the remaining fruit flies. You can either kill these flies or release them outdoors.

Fruit flies can be a pest, but they do not have to make you crazy. With a little effort, you can get existing flies out of your house and prevent new ones from taking over your kitchen.


(a) Give the meaning of each of the following words as used in the passage. One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.

(i) Swarm

(ii) Pesticide

(iii) Counter

(b) Answer the following questions briefly, in your words.

(i) According to the passage, why should you not use pesticide spray to kill fruit flies?

(ii) What are fruit flies?

(iii) What do fruit flies do on fruits and vegetables?

(iv) Why do people like to get rid of fruit flies?

(v) How many eggs can a single fruit fly lay?

(c) Imagine you had a fruit fly outbreak in your kitchen. What would you do to handle the situation? Write in not more than 50 words.


It is about nine in the morning and a scraggly bunch of kids is waiting near an abandoned building in Lodhi Colony for their school to arrive. This school is a bright yellow bus kitted out with cabinets, blackboard, water dispenser, ladder, a canopy, teaching aids and an LCD TV. They call it the Mobile Learning Center or school-on-wheels. When the bus arrives, it parks parallel to the pavement, the television is turned to face the road and an inspirational song, is played loud enough to draw the attention of children.

The project, launched by Delhi Government’s Department of Education in February 2008 is run by Butterflies, an NGO. The mission is to bring the underprivileged kids into the mainstream and prepare them for government schools. Children are taught Hindi, English and Mathematics and given tips on health and hygiene twice a week. A sports teacher comes along once a week. Is the yellow bus a magnet then? “Attendance is a little thin now”, admits NGO volunteer Asif Ali Chaudhary, even as Mausami Baruah, one of the two teachers, pulls a child out of line for chewing gum. “Some have gone to their villages for a festival and haven’t returned so far. And then, it’s Thursday, Manu will be helping her parents sell garlands at a temple.” Even so, at least children are present.

Keeping the students focused is quite a task. “Many bring along younger siblings as there’s no one at home and they are assigned baby sitting duties”, says Chaudhary. Crawling babies aren’t the only distraction. As the senior class, backs leaning against the boundary wall, learns geometrical shapes, a different scene is playing out right behind. A policeman has spotted someone in the abandoned block of flats nearby and with remarkable agility, has jumped over the wall to inspect. As he gives chase, several children run away. The school teachers carry on as if nothing has happened. Essentially, the mobile school is able to do its job, stopping at four contact points, where it can enroll a maximum of 40 students per stop. But even those who haven’t enrolled and are merely hanging around the area are welcome.


(a) Give the meaning of each of the following words as used in the passage. One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.

(i) Abandoned

(ii) Parallel

(iii) Agility

(b) Answer the following questions briefly, in your own words.

(i) What is the aim of launching mobile learning centers?

(ii) What subjects are children taught at these centers?

(iii) What gadgets does the school bus contain?

(iv) Who launched this project and when?

(v) What reasons are given for thin attendance?

(c) What type of distractions are mentioned in the passage? Write in your own words in not more than 50 words.


What writers struggle to express through numerous newspaper columns, the cartoon manages in a pointed one-liner. Little wonder then, that the first thing most of us like to see when we pick up a newspaper is the cartoon. Simple though it may seem, making a cartoon is an art that requires a combination of hard work, training and a good sense of humor.

Cartoonists say that the cartoons that make us laugh the most are in fact the cartoons that are hardest to make. Even celebrated cartoonists like R.K. Laxman admit that making a cartoon is not a piece of cake. Laxman says he has to wait for over six hours, which includes spending a lot of time scanning newspapers and television channels before any idea strikes him.

So how does one become a cartoonist? Which of us has the talent to make it? How can we master the rib-tickling strokes and the witty one-liners? How can we make people smile or laugh? There are few colleges or schools for cartoonists. Most cartoonists come from art colleges, while some learn the craft on their own. Most established cartoonists are of the view that no institute can teach you to make a cartoon.

“You can pick up the craft, you may learn to sketch and draw in institutes, but no one can teach anyone how to make a good cartoon”, says Uday Shanker, a cartoonist with Navbharat Times. While basics, like drawing and sketching can be learnt in an art college, and are important skills, these alone, do not make a good cartoonist. Because it’s a question of one’s creativity and sense of humour; two qualities one simply may not have. The advice established cartoonists give is that just because you can sketch, don’t take it for granted that you will become a cartoonist.


(a) Give the meaning of each of the following words as used in the passage. One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.

(i) Scanning

(ii) Witty

(iii) Sketch

(b) Answer the following questions briefly, in your own words.

(i) What, according to Laxman, is the challenge in creating a good cartoon?

(ii) According to the passage, which group of people is of the opinion that one cannot learn to make a cartoon in institutions?

(iii) What qualities does making of a cartoon require?

(iv) From where do cartoonists learn their art?

(v) What advice do cartoonists give?

(c) How can one become a good cartoonist? Write in not more than 50 words.


Ulhas Mandlik, 35, a power-loom owner from Ichalkaranji, Maharashtra, and his mother were homeward-bound one evening when heavy rain forced them to take shelter beneath a bridge. Not far away, a small group of labourers huddled together under a part of the cement house above a 16 meter deep well used to pump water for irrigation.

Suddenly, Mandlik and his mother heard the labourers scream. When the two got to the well, they were told that a five year old boy named Hariya had fallen in through a side opening in the structure. Ignoring his mother’s fears, Mandlik quickly knotted together lengths of flimsy rope belonging to the labourers and asked them to lower him into the dark well.

“I hope the rope holds”, he thought. As he descended, Mandlik noticed the metal rungs on the wall of the well. He grabbed hold of one and started climbing down, when he saw the boy clinging to a pipe running up the well’s center. Grabbing the child, Mandlik started to climb praying that the old rungs wouldn’t give away and plunge them both into the churning water below. Their luck held and within a few minutes, Mandlik clambered to ground level and handed over Hariya to his sobbing father.

The man fell at Mandlik’s feet and offered him some money as a reward. Refusing the cash, Mandlik took Hariya and his family to a nearby eatery and offered them steaming tea to warm them up. Several organizations have honoured Mandlik for his bravery and presence of mind on that wet day three years ago. “I am happy I was at the right place at the right time”, he says, “and was able to return a little boy to his family.”


(a) Give the meaning of each of the following words as used in the passage. One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.

(i) Flimsy

(ii) Descended

(iii) Churning

(b) Answer the following questions briefly, in your own words.

(i) What first drew Ulhas and his mother to the well?

(ii) What were Ulhas mother’s fears really associated with?

(iii) Why did many organizations honour Mandlik?

(iv) What were the group of labourers doing?

(v) What did Mandlik do to Hariya and his father?

(c) In not more than 50 words describe how Ulhas rescued Hariya?


Smoking is the major cause of mortality with bronchogenic carcinoma of the lungs and is also one of the factors causing death due to malignancies of larynx, oral cavity, esophagus, bladder, kidney, pancreas, stomach and uterine cervix and coronary heart diseases.

Nicotine is the major substance present in the smoke that causes physical dependence. The additives too produce damage to the body for example, ammonia can result in a 100 fold increase in the ability of nicotine to enter into the nose.

Levulinic acid, added to cigarettes to mask the harsh taste of the nicotine, can increase the binding of nicotine to brain receptors, which increases the ‘kick’ of nicotine.

Smoke from the burning end of a cigarette contains over 4000 chemicals and 40 carcinogens. It has long been known that tobacco smoke is carcinogenic or cancer-causing.

The lungs of smokers collect an annual deposit of 1 to 1 ½ pounds of the gooey black material. Invisible gas of cigarette smoke contains nitrogen, oxygen and toxic gases like carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, acrolein, hydrogen cyanide and nitrogen oxides. These gases are poisonous and in many cases interfere with the body’s ability to transport oxygen.

Like many carcinogenic compounds, they can act as tumour promoters or tumour initiators by acting directly on the genetic make-up of cells of the body leading to development of cancer.

During smoking, within the first 8-10 seconds, nicotine is absorbed through the lungs and quickly ‘moved’ into the bloodstream and circulated throughout the brain. Nicotine can also enter the bloodstream through the mucous membranes that line the mouth (if tobacco is chewed) or nose (if snuff is used) and even through the skin. Our brain is made up of billions of nerve cells. They communicate with each other by chemical messengers called neurotransmitters.

Nicotine is one of the most powerful nerve poisons and binds stereo selectively to nicotine receptors located in the brain; they play a critical role in cognitive processes and memory.

The nicotine molecule is shaped like a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine which is involved in many functions including muscle movement, breathing, heart-rate, learning and memory. Nicotine, because of the similar structure with acetylcholine when it gets into the brain, attaches itself to acetylcholine sites and produces toxic effect.

In high concentrations, nicotine is more deadly. In fact, one drop of purified nicotine on the tongue will kill a person. It has been used as a pesticide for centuries.

Recent researches suggest that acute nicotine administration would result in increased dopamine release from the brain, producing perception of pleasure and happiness, increased energy and motivation, increased alertness, increased feeling of vigour during the early phase of smoking.

However, not withstanding these superficial effects, research shows that the relationship between smoking and memory loss is strongest in people who smoke more than 20 cigarettes each day and this is not specific to the socio-economic status, gender and a range of associated medical condition. Smoking may speed up age-related memory loss but the details are not yet clear. Some studies suggest that repeated exposure to high nicotine smoke related to the ‘Brain wiring’ is nothing but neuro-bio-chemistry that deals with complex interaction among genetic experience and bio-chemistry of brain cells.

One of the causes of memory decline in relation to the brain functions could be the nerve cell death or decreased density of interconnected neural 55 network due to loss of dendrites; the tiny filaments which connect one nerve cell to another. Abstinence from smoking is essential, not only to avoid this systemic effect but also to reduce the ill-effects on the environment.


(a) Give the meaning of each of the following words as used in the passage. One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.

(i) Poisonous

(ii) Vigour

(iii) Abstinence

(b) Answer the following questions briefly, in your own words.

(i) What is the major cause of mortality as stated in the passage? What does it result into?

(ii) What is added to mask the harsh taste of nicotine? What does it lead to?

(iii) What does the invisible gas of cigarette smoke contain?

(iv) What are the effects that chain smoking may lead to?

(v) Why is it considered essential to abstain from smoking?

(c) In not more than 50 words, discuss the ill effects of smoking as discussed in the passage.


Aluminium foil is aluminium prepared in thin sheets (in the order of 0.02 mm in thickness). As a result of this, the foil is extremely pliable, and can be bent or wrapped around objects with ease. Aluminium foil is sometimes also known as al-foil or alu-foil. It is also often called tinfoil, although it is not made from tin, or as silver paper although it is not made from silver.

Aluminium foil typically has a highly reflective side and a more matte side. This is a result of common manufacturing processes. As aluminium foil is easy to tear, the foil is sent through machines in pairs. The side where the aluminium foil was in contact with the other sheet is more matte than the exterior side.

Millions of tons of aluminium foil are used throughout the world in the protection and packaging of foods, cosmetics and chemical products. Usually, an extremely thin layer (0.0065 mm or 6.5 pm) is laminated to other materials, plastics and paper, to make long life packs for drinks, dairy products, and many other sensitive foods. The foil acts as a complete barrier to light (which spoils fats), odours, loss of gain of moisture and bacteria. Aluminium foil container and trays are used to bake pies and to pack takeaway meals, ready snacks and give long life to pet foods.

Aluminium foil is widely sold into the consumer market, usually in 20 rolls of around 50 centimeters width and several meters in length. It is used for wrapping food in order to preserve it, for example, when storing leftover food in a refrigerator (where it serves the additional purpose of preventing odour exchange), when taking sandwiches on a journey, or when selling some kinds of take away or fast food. Mexican restaurants in the United States, for example, typically provide takeaway burritos wrapped in aluminium foil. It is also used for barbecuing more delicate foods such as mushrooms and vegetables; food is wrapped in foil, then placed on the grill, preventing loss of moisture that may result in a less appealing texture.

As is the case with all metallic items, aluminium foil reacts to being microwaved. This is due to the effect of electric field of the microwaves causing a build-up of charge to form between the sharp points in the aluminium; if enough charge accumulates it will discharge to a different place on the foil, creating a spark (i.e., arcing). Due to frequent use in food services, this commonly leads to kitchen fires.

The extensive use of aluminium foil has been criticized by some environmentalists because of the high resource cost of extracting aluminium, primarily as a result of the large amount of electricity used to decompose bauxite. However, this cost is greatly reduced via recycling and the fact that many foods that would otherwise perish can be protected over long periods without refrigeration. Thanks to the total barrier properties of aluminium foil. Many aluminium foil products can be recycled at around 5% of the original.


(a) Give the meaning of each of the following words as used in the passage. One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.

(i) Pliable

(ii) Perish

(iii) Barrier

(b) Answer the following questions briefly, in your own words.

(i) Give the other names used to denote aluminium foils?

(ii) Give any two uses of aluminium foils.

(iii) Why does the use of aluminium foils often lead to kitchen fires?

(iv) Why is the use of aluminium foils often criticised by environmentalists?

(v) How are aluminium foils used for making long life packs for drinks and milk products?

(c) In not more than 50 words, discuss how aluminium foils are used for various purposes.


Today, India looks like it is on course to join the league of developed . nations. It is beginning to establish a reputation not just as the technology nerve-centre and back office to the world, but also as its production centre. India’s secularism and democracy serve as a role model to other developing Countries. There is great pride as India easily integrates with a global economy, yet is maintaining a unique cultural identity.

The economic activity created by the combination of a growing labour pool and rising consumption demand is enough to propel India to double digit economic growth for decades. One just has to look at the impact that the baby boomers in the US had over decades of economic activity, as measured by equity and housing prices. This opportunity also represents the greatest threat to India’s future. If the youth of India are not properly educated and if there are not enough jobs created, India will have forever lost its opportunity. There are danger signs in abundance.

Fifty-three percent of students are primary school dropouts, l/3rd of children in class V cannot read, three quarters of schools do not have a functioning toilet, female literacy is only 45 percent and 80 million children in the age group of 6-14 do not even attend school.

India’s IT and BPO industries are engines of job creation, but they still account for only 0.2 percent of India’s employment. The country has no choice but to dramatically industrialize and inflate its domestic economy. According to a forecast by the Boston Consulting Group, more than half of India’s unemployed within the next decade could be its educated youth. We cannot allow that to happen.

Employment creation needs an abundant supply of capital. Control on foreign investment has resulted in China getting five times the foreign direct investment or an advantage of $200 billion over the past five years.

The growing interest in India by global private equity firms augurs well as they represent pools of patient and smart capital, but they too face many bureaucratic hurdles.

Rising of infrastructure spending, coupled with rapid privatization, may not only create employment but also address the growing gaps in infrastructure. China has eight times the highway miles and has increased roads significantly in the past few years while India has only inched along. Freight costs at Indian ports are almost double the worldwide average, just to give two examples.

Moreover, like the Lilliputians that kept the giant Gulliver tied down, there are some 30,000 statutes in India, of which only a portion are even operational, and these keep the employment creation engine tied down.

Since there are no sunset provisions in any laws, the regulatory morass only grows every year.

In the meantime, we as citizens of the world and descendants of India have to make a difference. We have to ensure that India and its youth attain that potential both through our business pursuits and the support of educational charities, on the ground proponents of participative democracy as well as other deserving organizations and initiatives.

I believe that hope can triumph and that this can be India’s century – not one that will happen as surely as the sun will rise each day, but one that many willing hands will need to create together.


(a) Give the meaning of each of the following words as used in the passage. One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.

(i) Abundance

(ii) Inflate

(iii) Triumph

(b) Answer the following questions briefly, in your own words.

(i) What are the job creating industries of India?

(ii) What does the forecast by Boston Consulting Group suggest?

(iii) How many statutes in India are operational?

(iv) How can we as citizens of India make a difference according to the passage?

(v) What kind of freight costs prevails in India?

(c) In not more than 50 words briefly describe any three major factors that account for job creation in India.


Moulds often grow in size and are blown about by the wind. It was by chance that such a mould had dropped on the culture prepared by Fleming and partly destroyed it. But it had not been known that any of these moulds could destroy bacteria. It was Fleming’s alertness, curiosity and keen observation that led him to this great discovery. These are the qualities indispensable for scientist and researchers. Fleming’s discovery was the result of his scientific curiosity and his discipline as a researcher.

Fleming spent weeks and months over his experiments with the mould. He examined everything under the microscope food, clothes and leather on which moulds had been formed. He sent a woman called Mary to the market now and then to buy anything old and mouldy. This woman used to be seen in the market so often that people called her Mouldy Mary.

Two researchers at Oxford University, Dr. Howard Florey and Dr. E.B. Chain, continued Fleming’s work. They saw that the Penicillin mould grew best in a sugar solution. They carried out several experiments with the mould in solution. One day, by chance, they hit upon the right combination of solution and temperature for their mould. They saw in it some tiny golden drops. These were really tiny drops of the drug. They collected these drops, which when dried turned into a white powder.

The next thing to do was to test the drug. A number of mice were inoculated with certain powerful disease germs. Some of these mice were given penicillin injections every three hours and the rest were left untreated. The next morning, all the untreated mice were found dead, but those that had been given the penicillin injections were found completely cured.

To try the drug on human beings was the next step for the researchers. A friend of theirs had been suffering from a serious disease for several years. Many drugs had been tried, but had produced no effect. It looked certain that the man would not recover but would die a slow death. Fleming and his fellow-scientists had gained such confidence in the effectiveness of the new drug that they wanted to try it on this patient. He was given one or two injections of penicillin and he gradually began to recover. This was most encouraging indeed. With a few more injections, the man recovered completely!

Gradually, more and more of the penicillin drug was prepared and was used to save the lives of people. Ninety-five percent of the soldiers, wounded in World War II, who were treated with penicillin recovered.

In 1944, Fleming was honored by King George VI with a knight-hood and became Sir Alexander Fleming. The next year, he and his fellow bacteriologists, whose combined efforts had led to the great discovery, were 40 honoured with a joint Nobel Prize.

The discovery of penicillin is one of the greatest contributions that scientists have made to the conquest triumphof many diseases. Millions of lives all over the world have been saved by the use of penicillin. Today it is one of the most widely used drugs.

We know that penicillin is not a remedy for all infections. There are still many diseases upon which it has no effect. But its discovery has led to researches on other kinds of moulds and plants. Several new drugs have been discovered as a result of this work, and today, a physician is able to cure many more diseases than it was ever possible to cure in the old days.


(a) Give the meaning of each of the following words as used in the passage. One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.

(i) Indispensable

(ii) Recovered

(iii) Conquest

(b) Answer the following questions briefly, in your own words.

(i) Who was called Mouldy Mary?

(ii) How can we say penicillin was a successful drug in the context of World War-II?

(iii) Who honoured Fleming and when?

(iv) Why penicillin is regarded as the most effective drug in the conquest of diseases?

(v) Why discovery of penicillin is, even today, given an upper hand after so many years?

(c) In not more than 50 words, describe how penicillin and its effectiveness had been discovered?


You never saw a commotion in all your life like when my uncle Podger undertook a job to do. A picture would be waiting to be put up and Uncle Podger would say: “Oh, you leave that to me. Don’t you worry yourselves about that. I’ll do all that. Now you go and get me my hammer.

You bring me the rule Tom, and I shall want the step-ladder and I had better have a kitchen chair too and Jim, you run round to Mr. Goggles and tell him Pa’s kind regards, and hopes his leg’s better and will he lend him his spirit- level? And don’t you go, Martha, because I shall want somebody to hold me the light, and when the girl comes back, she must go out again for a bit of picture-cord and Tom you come here I shall want to you to hand me up the picture.”

And then he would lift up the picture and drop it and it would come out of the frame, and he would try to save the glass and cut himself and then he would spring round the room, looking for his handkerchief. He could not find his handkerchief, because it was in the pocket of the coat he had taken off, and he did not know where he had put the coat. The entire house had to leave off looking for his tools and start looking for his coat, while he would dance round and hinder them. “Doesn’t anybody in the whole house know where my coat is? Six of you! You can’t find a coat!”

Then he’d get up and find that he had been sitting on it, and would call out. “Oh, you can give it up! I’ve found it myself now.”

When half an hour had been spent in tying up his finger, and a new glass had been got, and the tools, and the ladder, and the chair, and the candle had been brought, he would have another go, the whole family, including the girl and the charwoman, standing round in a semi-circle, ready to help.

Two people would have to hold him there, and a fourth would hand him a nail, and a fifth would pass him the hammer, and he would take hold of the nail, and drop it. “There!” he would say, in an injured tone, “now the nail’s gone.”

We would all have to go down on our knees and grovel for it, while he would stand on the chair, and grunt, and want to know if he was to be kept there all the evening. The nail would be found at last, but by that time he would have lost the hammer. “Where’s the hammer? Seven of you gaping there and you don’t know what I did with the hammer?”

We would find the hammer and then he would have lost sight of the mark he had made on the wall. Each of us had to get up on the chair beside him, and see if we could find it, and we would each discover it in a different place and he would call us all fools. And he would take the rule, and re-measure and find that he wanted half thirty-one and three-eighths inches from the corner, and would try to do it in his head, and go mad, and we would all try to do it in our heads and all arrive at different results, and the original number would be forgotten, and Uncle Podger would have to measure it again.

He would use a bit of string this time and at the critical moment, when he was leaning over the chair at an angle of forty five, and trying to reach a point on the wall, the string would slip, and down he would slide on the piano, a really fine musical effect being produced by the suddenness with which his head and body struck all the notes at the same time.

At last, Uncle Podger would get the spot fixed again and put the point of the nail on it with his left hand and take the hammer in his right hand. And, with the first blow he would smash his thumb, and drop the hammer with a yell, on somebody’s toes.

Aunt Maria would observe that the next time Uncle Podger was going to hammer a nail into the wall; she would go and spend a week with her mother while it was being done. “You women you make such a fuss over everything,” Uncle Podger would reply. “I like doing a little job of this sort.”


(a) Give the meaning of each of the following words as used in the passage. One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.

(i) Commotion

(ii) Grovel

(iii) Smash

(b) Answer the following questions briefly, in your own words.

(i) What would Uncle Podger say when he was given any kind of job?

(ii) What would happen half an hour after Uncle Podger attempted to hang a picture?

(iii) What would Uncle Podger say about women while doing a piece of work?

(iv) What kind of an angle would he lean at while measuring with a string?

(v) What were the different things that Uncle Podger would require to hang a picture on the wall?

(c) In not more than 50 words, discuss how Uncle Podger would hang a picture.


The seasonal problem of water taps running dry is plaguing triumph most of our major cities. With the bigger rivers flowing in trickles and ponds and wells reduced to clay-pits, village women in remote areas have to fetch every drop of water for drinking, cooking, washing and so on, across large distances. This has only worsened a perennial problem, that of widespread pollution of water, rendering it unfit for human consumption.

The monsoons and the attendant floods will not solve this problem. The Delhi Administration is seriously worried about the threat to civil health posed by the polluted waters of the Jamuna. Two new tanks are to be set up to treat sewage. At present only 60 percent of the 200 million gallons of the city’s sewage receives any kind of treatment before it is dumped into the river which supplies water not only to this city but to innumerable towns and villages downstream. The Ganga, the Jamuna, the Cauvery, in fact all our important rivers, serving many urban conglomerations are fast becoming a major source of disease.

A comprehensive bill, introduced in Parliament recently, envisages the setting up of Central and State Boards for the prevention and control of water pollution. But it will obviously take some time before legislation is passed and effectively implemented. Mean while the problem continues to swell.

According to a survey of eight developing countries conducted a couple of years ago, 90 percent of all child deaths were due to water borne diseases. It is the same unchanged story today. In country like India, a burgeoning population continuing to use the open countryside as a lavatory means that, with every dust storm and rain, human excreta laden with germs and parasite spores find their way to ponds, shallow wells and even the stream and rivers. Only 18 per cent of the rural folk have access to potable water.

A new threat that has already assumed alarming proportions is from industrial waste which is generally dumped untreated into the nearest river. For instance, for every kilogram of processed hide, 30-40 liters of foul smelling waste water has to be disposed of. There are at least 900 licensed tanneries in the organized sector. Putrefied paper and jute waste, metallic S waste from straw board and textile mills, sulphur, ammonia, rear, metallic

slats and corrosive acids-all find their way to the rivers of India.

It is important not only to make new laws to ensure the purity of water, but also to realize the urgency of implementing them ruthlessly, if we are to avoid a national health disaster cutting across the barrier between towns and the countryside.


(a) Give the meaning of each of the following words as used in the passage. One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.

(i) Plaguing

(ii) Perennial

(iii) Putrefied

(b) Answer the following questions briefly, in your own words.

(i) What are the different types of wastes that find their way into the Indian rivers?

(ii) What do statistics reveal regarding the death of children due to water borne diseases?

(iii) What does the phrase ‘new threat’ used in the passage imply?

(iv) Name the rivers that are increasingly becoming sources of water borne diseases in India?

(v) What percentage of sewage is treated at present before it is dumped into the rivers?

(c) In not more than 50 words discuss the causes and ways to prevent water pollution as discussed in the passage.


The 10th edition of the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) by Pratham, released last week, shows that over the last decade, basic learning levels for children in elementary school in India have remained low. Only about half of class V children in rural India can read a simple class II level text, and a similar proportion can do a two digit subtraction problem with borrowing. While there are some variations across states and a few exception from year to year, it would not be wrong to say that at least half of all Indian children close to 100 million are at least two to three years behind grade level.

For the past decade, several players, government and non-government organizations, have been working on improving the situation. Pratham has also been developing models and methods to improve children’s basic reading and arithmetic abilities. While several states are experimenting with innovative programmes aimed at improving learning, few have been tested rigorously for impact and scalability in a government-run primary 15 school system. In the last decade, Pratham’s work has been rigorously evaluated by researchers affiliated with MIT’s Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL).

This “teaching at the right level” model is straightforward and effective. The process focuses on children currently enrolled in Classes III to V and starts by assessing children one-on-one using simple tools: Can they read a paragraph? Simple everyday words? Letters? Or nothing at all? And similarly for Math’s. For instruction, children are then grouped by their learning level, not grade. Teaching-learning activities and materials for each group are based on their level and aimed at enabling children progress to the next level and beyond. The goal is to ensure that students gain basic competencies in reading and arithmetic. The Programme owes its success in no small measure to the establishment of level-wise groups, explicit learning goals for each group and tailored teaching techniques. This contrasts with the existing practice of teaching a prescribed curriculum to students of a given age, irrespective of their ability to comprehend it.

The model lands itself easily to modification to suit local needs; it has been successful when implemented by government teachers within school hours or during summer holidays in several states, as well as when implemented by volunteers in classes outside of school or as short bursts of “learning camps” during school hours. Two recently concluded randomized evaluations of “teaching at the right level” in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh provide promising insights into how this model can be scaled up successfully within government school system.

In Haryana, 400 schools participated in an intervention implemented by 40 the government and supported by Pratham in 2012-13. Students enrolled in Class III, IV and V, 200 of these schools were randomly assigned to this model. Students in the selected schools were re-organized by their reading level and taught for one hour each day using level-appropriate materials and methods. The programme was implemented by trained government teachers during school hours, while block and cluster-level education officials monitored implementations and providing ongoing academic support to teachers.

Results from the UP study are even more dramatic. In this study across 484 schools, locally recruited and trained volunteers and Partham staff conducted classes for reading and arithmetic in short bursts of 10 or 20 days, or “learning camps.” These camps were periodically held in government schools during schools hours for a total of 50 days over the 2013-14 academic years.


(a) Give the meaning of each of the following words as used in the passage. One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.

(i) Evaluated

(ii) Comprehend

(iii) Implemented

(b) Answer the following questions briefly, in your own words.

(i) What does the 10th edition of the ASER report tell us?

(ii) How has impact evaluation techniques benefited the educational system?

(iii) How many schools in Haryana have participated in the intervention implemented by the government and supported by Pratham?

(iv) What does the studies in UP related to the reformed education system reflect?

(v) What according to the passage is the main goal of “teaching at the right level” model?

(c) In not more than 50 words discuss how education system has undergone a change after the introduction of the programme of ‘Teaching at the right level.’


For the world’s 1.2 billion poorest people, who are facing a long and perhaps endless wait for a connection to mains electricity, solar power could be the answer to their prayers. A further 2.5 billion are “underelectrified”, in development parlance: although connected to the grid, they can get only unreliable, scanty power. That lights lives too. The whole of sub-Saharan Africa, with a population of 910 m, consume only 145 tera-watt hours of electricity a year, less than the 4.8 m people who live in the state of Alabama. That is the pitiful equivalent of one incandescent light bulb per person for three hours a day.

In the absence of electricity, the usual fallback is paraffin (kerosene). Lighting and cooking with those costs poor people the world over $23 billion a year, of which $10 billion is spent in Africa. Poor households are buying lighting at the equivalent of $100 per kilowatt hour, more than a hundred times the amount people in rich countries pay. And kerosene is not just expensive; it is dangerous too. Stoves and lamps catch fire, maiming and killing. Indoor fumes cause 600,000 preventable deaths a year in Africa alone. But candles or open fires are even worse and so is darkness, which hurts productivity and encourages crime.

The first is the collapsing cost of solar power. The second is the fall in the price of light-emitting diodes (LEDs). These turn electrical power almost wholly into light. Traditional bulbs are fragile and emit mostly heat. The new LED lamps are not only bright and durable but, now, also affordable. But lamps are needed at night, and solar power is collected in the daytime. So the third, crucial revolution is in storage.

All in all, the capacity needed to produce a watt of solar power (enough to run a small light), which in 2008 cost $4, has come down to $1. The simplest solar powered lamps cost around $8. As well as powering a lamp, a slightly larger solar system can charge a mobile phone, for which user in poor countries often pay extortionate amounts. Russell Sturm of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the part of the World Bank group that works with the private sector, cites kiosks in Papua New Guinea, where customers pay for each bar of charge shown on the phone’s screen at a cost than can easily reach a stoking of $200 per kwh.

But lighting and charging phones are only the first rungs on the ladder, notes Charlie Miller of Solar Aid, a charity. Radios can easily run on solar power. Bigger systems can light up a school or clinic; a “solar suitcase” provides, the basic equipment needed by health workers. A Uganda company called Solar Now has a $200 low voltage television set that runs on the direct current (DC) used by solar systems.

A $500,000 aid-funded project in Kisiju Pwani, once one of the poorest villages in Tanzania, uses 32 photovoltaic solar panels and a bank of 120 batteries to provide 12 kw of electricity, enough for 20 street lights and 68 homes, 15 businesses, a port, the village’s government offices and two mosques.

Three main problems have yet to be resolved. One is quality. Poor consumers mulling a $100 investment need to be sure that their purchase will be robust. The IFC and other aid outfits are running a scheme to verify manufacturers claims. Second, makers of mass-market appliances, used to mains electricity, have been slow to reign their products to run on the low voltage direct current (DC) produced by renewable energy sources and batteries. Mr. Sturn says the industry is waiting for the “holy grail”: a cheap, efficient and reliable DC fan.

The third and biggest constraint is working capital. It typically takes five months from paying the manufactures to getting paid by the customer.


(a) Give the meaning of each of the following words as used in the passage.

One word answers or short phrases will be accepted.

(i) Incandescent

(ii) Equivalent

(iii) Crucial

(b) Answer the following questions briefly, in your own words.

(i) What are the three major problems that have yet to be resolved?

(ii) Name two countries of Africa that have been mentioned in the passage.

(iii) What are the three major revolutions that have made electricity accessible to all?

(iv) What does Russell Sturn of IFC work for?

(v) What is a solar suitcase as described in the passage?

(c) In not more than 50 words, discuss the condition of electricity that prevails in Africa and how it promotes crime.

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