SBI PO Prelims 2017: English Quiz - Set 1


Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here is a set of English Quiz for SBI PO Prelims on Comprehension Test.

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below.


A difficult readjustment in the scientist’s conception of duty is imperatively necessary. As Lord Adrain said in his address to the British Association, “unless we are ready to give up some of our old loyalties, we may be forced into a fight which might end the human race”. This matter of loyalty is the crux. Hitherto, in the East and in the West alike, most scientists, like most other people, have felt that loyalty to their own state is paramount. They have no longer a right to feel this. Loyalty to the human race must take its place. Everyone in the West will at once admit this as regards Soviet scientists. We are shocked that Kapitza, who was Rutherford’s favourite pupil, was willing when the Soviet government refused him permission to return to Cambridge, to place his scientific skill at the disposal of those who wished to spread communism by means of H-bombs. We do not so readily apprehend a similar failure of duty on our own side. I do not wish to be thought to suggest treachery, since that is only transference of loyalty to another national state. I am suggesting a very different thing; that scientists the world over should join in enlightening mankind as to the perils of a great war and in devising methods for its prevention. I urge with all the emphasis at my disposal that this is the duty of scientists in East and West alike. It is difficult duty and one likely to entail penalties for those who perform it. But after all it is the labours of scientists which have caused the danger and on this account, if on no other; scientists must do everything in their power to save mankind from the madness which they have made possible. Science from the dawn of history, and probably longer, has been intimately associated with war. I imagine that when our ancestors descended from the trees they were victorious over the arboreal conservatives because flints were sharper than coconuts. To come to more recent times, Archimedes was respected for his scientific defense of Syracuse against the Romans; Leonardo obtained employment under the Duke of Milan because of his skill in fortification, though he did mention in a postscript that he could also paint a bit. Galileo similarly derived an income from the Grant Duke of Tuscany because of his skill in calculating the trajectories of projectiles. In the French Revolution those scientists who were not guillotined devoted themselves to making new explosives. There is therefore no departure from tradition in the present day scientist’s manufacture of A-bombs and H-bomb. All that is new is the extent of their destructive skill. I do not think that men of science can cease to regard the disinterested pursuit of knowledge as their primary duty. It is true that new knowledge and new skills are sometimes harmful in their effects, but scientists cannot profitably take account of this fact since the effects are impossible to foresee. We cannot blame Columbus because the discovery of the Western Hemisphere spread throughout the Eastern Hemisphere an appallingly devastating plague. Nor can we blame James Watt for the Dust Bowl although if there had been no steam engines and no railways the West would not have been so carelessly or so quickly cultivated To see that knowledge is wisely used in primarily the duty of statesmen, not of science; but it is part of the duty of men of science to see that important knowledge is widely disseminated and is not falsified in the interests of this or that propaganda. Scientific knowledge has its dangers; but so has every great thing. And over and beyond the dangers with which it threatens the present, it opens up, as nothing else can, the vision of a possible happy world, a world without poverty, without war, with little illness. And what is perhaps more than all, when science has mastered the forces which mould human character, it will be able to produce populations in which few suffer from destructive fierceness and in which the great majority regard other people, not as competitors, to be feared, but as helpers in a common task. Science has only recently begun to apply itself to human beings except in their purely physical aspect. Such science as exists in psychology and anthropology has hardly begun to affect political behaviour or private ethics. The minds of men remain attuned to a world that is fast disappearing. The changes in our physical environment require, if they are to bring well-being, correlative changes in our beliefs and habits. If we cannot effect these changes, we shall suffer the fate of the dinosaurs, which could not live on dry land. I think it is the duty of science – I do not say of every individual man of science – to study the means by which we can adapt ourselves to the new world There are certain things that the world quite obviously needs; tentativeness, as opposed to dogmatism in our beliefs: an expectation of co-operation, rather than competition, in social relations, a lessening of envy and collective hatred These are things which education could produce without much difficulty. They are not things adequately south in the education of the present day. It is progress in the human sciences that we must look to undo the evils which have resulted from knowledge of the physical world hastily and superficially acquired by populations’ unconscious of the changes in them that the new knowledge has made imperative. The road to a happier world than any known in the past lies open before us if atavistic destructive passion can be kept in leash while the necessary adaptations are made. Fears are inevitable in our time, but hopes are equally rational and far more likely to bear good fruit. We must learn to think rather less of the dangers to be avoided than of the good that will be within our grasp if we believe in it and let it dominate our thoughts. Science, whatever unpleasant consequences it may have by the way, is in its very nature a liberator, a liberator of bondage to physical nature and, in time to come a liberator from the weight of destructive passion. We are on the threshold of utter disaster or unprecedented glorious achievement. No previous age has been fraught with problems so momentous and it is to science that we must look for happy issue.


1. The duty of science, according to the author is:
(A) to realize the vision of a happy new world
(B) to pursue knowledge for its own sake
(C) to see that only such discoveries as conducive to the progress of humanity should be made
(D) to study the means by which we can adapt ourselves in the world
(E) none of these

2. Archimedes, Leonardo and Galileo have been mentioned to substantiate the statement that
(A) Science has always been intimately associated with war.
(B) from ancient times science has played a leading part in the life of man
(C) all learning has flourished only under the patronage of royalty and eminent personages
(D) in the past pursuit of knowledge was done for its own sake
(E) none of these

3. The ground on which the author suggests that all scientists should join in educating mankind regarding the perils of a great war is that
(A) scientists being among the most learned among people should take the lead in this process of education.
(B)It is the work of the scientists which has led to this perilous situation and so they should do something to undo the mischief.
(C) Science has always been associated with war and in the fitness of things; scientists should take the lead in trying to end it.
(D) All others like politicians and soldiers have vested interest in perpetuating war and by elimination, scientists alone may be trusted to work for its abolition.
(E) None of these

4. In modern times, the crux of the matter as far as scientists are concerned is that
(A) their loyalty to the state should be declared in no uncertain terms.
(B) A readjustment in the scientist’s conception of duty is imperatively necessary.
(C) They should not object to stringent control by the state over their activities.
(D) They should assert their independence and refuse to subject themselves to any kind of control.
(E) None of these

5. The instance of Kaptiza cited by the author goes to prove that
(A) every scientist has his price.
(B) In Soviet Russia, communists do not tolerate independent scientists.
(C)Scientists, whether in the East or West, have hitherto felt loyalty to their own state is paramount
(D) scientists in the West have a higher sense of responsibility than their counterparts in the East.
(E) None of these

6. Which among the following statements is not true according to the information provided in the passage?
(A) If there is no readjustment in the scientist’s conception of duty, the extinction of the human race by war is a distinct possibility.
(B) Up till now, scientists all over the world have felt that loyalty to their own state is paramount
(C) It is the labours of scientists which have caused the danger of annihilation of mankind.
(D)The tradition up to now has been that scientists have been respected for their pursuit of knowledge and not for their part in devising potent weapons of destruction.
(E) None of these

7. The duty of the scientist, according to the passage, is
(A) to further the interests of his state with as much devotion as possible
(B) to pursue knowledge regardless of the consequences of their discoveries and inventions.
(C) To see that important knowledge is widely disseminated and is not falsified in the interests of propaganda
(D) to refuse to serve national interests
(E) none of these

8. The evils which have resulted from knowledge of the physical world can only be overcome by
(A) a more intensive pursuit of scientific knowledge
(B) making scientists more responsible to society
(C) adequate progress in the human sciences
(D) enlightening the general public about the evils
(E) none of these

9. Science may be considered a liberator in the sense that:
(A) ultimately it may bring the nations of the world together
(B) it may make man’s life a great deal happier than what it is now
(C) it may free man from bondage to physical nature and the weight of destructive passions.
(D) It may end the tyranny of age old beliefs and superstitions.

(E) None of these


Answers - Tap to show
  1. D
  2. A
  3. B
  4. B
  5. C
  6. D
  7. C
  8. C
  9. C






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