Reading Comprehension Passages – Class XII – English Core – NCERT

Reading Comprehension

Comprehension means understanding or perception. The following points are to be carefully noted while attempting questions for comprehension.

1. Go through the passage carefully and arrive at the general idea of the subject the passage presents.
2. Read a second time to get a better understanding of the passage.
3. Arrive at the meaning of difficult words by relating them to the preceding and following sentences.
4. Underline only those parts which may help you in answering the questions.
5. Read the questions carefully.
6. Answer precisely using simple language.
7. Your answer must be correct and to the point.
8. The language of your answers should be grammatically correct. It must be simple, clear but spontaneous and effective.
9. Check your spellings and punctuations.
10. Don’t forget that you are not to copy the language of the passage. You will be given full credit only when you answer the questions in your own language.
11. Answers should reveal your understanding of the passage.
12. Never forget to revise your answers.

Unseen passages for comprehension (Solved)
(As per new latest syllabus, 2018-19)

1. Read the passage carefully and answer the questions that below: (20)

1. Even before you are aware of it, retirement is around the comer and with it conies a sense of apprehension, trepidation and may be sense of anticipation. The first few days when you acquire the status of a senior citizen-are full and the consequences of retirement have yet to sink in. A month passes and time hangs heavily and in a sense you feel lost, but a change can alter all that. The Indian government has given many concessions to senior citizens and it would do good if you focused on the advantages rather than disadvantages. Even at a personal level you can think of it as a new beginning rather than an end of a phase. Look around you, wake up to things that you wanted to do but could never get done.

2. Books and reading are all time favourite hobbies to indulge in; In India, subjects like astrology, tarot reading and palm reading have attracted many. So serious do these senior citizens become that you would never guess they were novices. Heated discussions, debates on politics and religion have also engrossed quite a few. Then there is a small segment, which focuses on economy and finance. Many Indians who have never taken investment seriously start reading business magazines, and catch up on bullish and bearish trends in the market. Surprisingly many of them become prudent about investment and offer a lot of advice to the so-called tyros. Many philanthropic Indians have been known to devote their attention to social causes and have been known to form clubs, which volunteer to help people. The sense of deep satisfaction that one gets from this is absolutely incomparable. Developing a passion for sports, evoking an interest in everything around you keeps you mentally healthy and emotionally fit.

3. There is a decline in mental abilities as one ages and this is mostly a consequence of certain pathological changes in the brain. While senior citizens become more mature in judgment, the ability to recall things declines. Efforts to relate and recall can greatly alleviate this decline. Aging is only in the mind, you are as old as you want to be. A positive attitude and a desire to learn as many new things as possible is the key to a full and happy life. Many computer institutes in India conduct computer courses for senior citizens and they are able to use the internet, send e-mails all over the world, store information relating to investments and handle their bank accounts. There are limited job openings for senior citizens but ideally they should take a job only if they have to.

4. Exercise, yoga and meditation keep senior citizens in good physical condition, as they are lesser prone to ailments, which tend to dog their footsteps once they have crossed 60. Physical condition augurs emotional and mental well-being. Exercise tones muscles, improves circulation of blood, reduces stress and wards off depression. Joints remain flexible, the risk of arteriosclerosis is reduced, muscle and bone loss is drastically reduced. In India, many old people have taken to doing pranayama on regular basis.

5. For senior citizens, this is a period of growth and the proper time to attain the riches that life has to offer. This is the time when they can live their lives the way they actually want to. The concessions they are entitled to make it actually worth being a senior citizen. Airlines offer discounted fares and the Indian railways offer a discount on all tickets. There are separate queues for senior citizens at the post office; railway counters and some buses even have seats reserved for them. It all boils down to one thing-it can actually be quite appealing to be a senior citizen once you look a^ yourself with esteem and have confidence in your abilities. Eat healthy, exercise, sleep well and extract every ounce of elixir that life has to offer.

1. Read the questions given below and write the correct option you consider most appropriate. (1×5=5)

1. Within the first few days of retirement, what does the retired person acquire?

(a) The status of senior citizen
(b) The status of being lonely
(c) Another post in the same department
(d) None of the above

2. What has been all time favourite hobby to indulge in?

(a) Swimming
(b) Reading
(c) Sleeping
(d) None of the above

3. Who will devote his attention to social cause and work as volunteer to help people?

(a) Misanthropist
(b) Philanthropist
(c) A and B both
(d) None of the above

4. The reason behind the decline in mental abilities is:

(a) Ageing
(b) Retirement
(c) Pathological changes in brain
(d) Loss of physical stamina

5. The concessions offered to senior citizens include:

(a) Discounted Airline fares and train tickets
(b) Reserved seats in buses
(c) Separate queues at the post office and railway counters
(d) All the above.

1.2 Answer the following questions briefly: (1×6=6)

1. What kind of things come along with retirement?
2. How can senior citizens prepare themselves for life after retirement?
3. What are the favourite pastime of the senior citizens in India? Mention any two.
4. What keeps senior citizens in good physical condition?
5. How can the ageing people retain their mental abilities?
6. What concessions are offered to senior citizens? Mention any two.

1.3 Answer any three of the following questions in 20 – 30 words: (2×3=6)

1. How can the elderly keep themselves mentally agile?
2. How can one keep oneself physically fit in old age? What role do yoga and meditation play in this regard?
3. What can make life more appealing to the senior citizens?
4. How do elderly plan their second innings?

1.4 Pick out the words /phrases from the passage which are similar in meaning to the following:  (1 x 3=3)
1. Nervousness {para 1}
2. Absorbed {para2}
3. Extremely, very {para 4}

Marking Scheme:

Q1.1 Read the questions given below and write the correct option you consider most appropriate. (1×5=5)

(1) The status of a senior citizen
(2) Reading
(3) Philanthropist
(4) Pathological changes in brain
(5) All the above

1.2 Answer the following questions briefly: (1×6=6)

(1) Sense of apprehension, trepidation and may be a sense of anticipation come along with retirement.
(2) Senior citizens can prepare themselves by involving them in many activities and hobbies like reading, learning astrology etc.
(3) Any two mentioned will be given marks. (Reading of business magazines/ astrology/ tarot reading /Social work /debates etc. (any 2)
(4) Exercise, yoga and meditation keep senior citizens in good physical health
(5) Ageing people can retain their mental abilities with a positive attitude and desire to learn new things.
(6) Any two mentioned will be given marks. (Discounted airlines fares and discounted train tickets /Reserved seats in buses.)

1.3 Answer any three of the following questions in 20 -30 words: (2×3=6)

(1) Learning new things like computers, taking a job.
(2) One can keep oneself physically fit in old age by doing physical exercise yoga and meditation. Yoga and meditation augurs physical emotional and mental well being
(3) The understanding that they can live their lives the way they want can make life more appealing for the senior citizens.
(4) They live their lives as they want to.

1.4 Pick out the words /phrases from the passage which are similar in meaning to the following: (1 x 3=3)

(a) Apprehension/Trepidation
(b) Engrossed
(c) Drastically

2. Read the passage and on the basis of your understanding of the passage answer the questions given below: (20)

1. India has never subscribed to the doctrine of militarism and war in her history. Here war was never treated as an ideal. It was only tolerated as unavoidable and inevitable, and all attempts were made to check it and bring it under control. In spite of the frequency of wars in ancient India, in spite of highly developed military organization, techniques of war and imperialism, and in spite of the open justification of war as national policy, the heart of India loved pacifism as an ideal capable of realization. India’s symbolic role was that of a peacemaker and it sincerely pinned its faith on the principle of “Live and let live”. At least philosophically, India’s intelligence supported the cause of peace not only in national affairs but in international affairs also. All the great seers of the yore visualized the unity of life, permeating all beings, animate or inanimate, which ruled out killing and suicidal wars.

2. This doctrine of philosophical pacifism was practiced by ancient Aryans is, no doubt, a question of controversial nature. Certainly, the great Indian teachers and savants stuck to this doctrine tenaciously and in their personal life they translated it into practice and preached it to masses and even to princes of military classes.

3. Another culture of those times, the existence of which has been proved by the excavations of Mohan-jo-Daro, also enunciated the doctrine of pacifism and friendship to all. Strangely enough, the Indus Valley civilization has revealed no fortification and very few weapons.

4. Ahimsa or the doctrine of non-violence in thought, speech and action assumed a gigantic importance in the Buddhist and Jain period. By a constant practice of this virtue, man becomes unassailable by even wild beasts, who forgot their ferocity the moment they entered the circumference of his magnetic influence. The monks and nuns of these churches were apostles of peace, who reached every nook and corner of the world and delivered the message of love to war-weary humanity. The greatest votary was the royal monk Ashoka, who in reality was responsible for transforming Ahimsa as an act of personal virtue, to Ahimsa as an act of national virtue.

5. Many a historian recounting the causes of the downfall of the Mauryas, hold the pacific policy of Ashoka which had eschewed the aggressive militarism of his predecessors, responsible for an early decay of the military strength of the state and its consequent disintegration, leading to the rise of Sungas, Kanvas and Andhras. But, in reality the fault lies with the weak successors of Ashoka, who could not wield the weapon of non-violence with a skill and efficiency which required the strength of a spiritual giant like Ashoka. They failed due to their subjective weakness: Pacifism itself was no cause of their failure.

6. Besides the foregoing philosophical and religious school of thought, even many political authorities gave their unqualified support to the cause of pacifism. They recognized the right of rivals to exist, not mainly as enemies, but as collaborators in the building of a civilization operation. Thus, for centuries, in the pre-Mauryan India, scores of small independent republics existed and flourished without coming in clash with each other.

7. With regard to Kautilya, the much maligned militarist and the so called Machiavelli of India, He thinks that the object of diplomacy is to avoid war.

8. The Mahabharata observes in the connection, “A wise man should be content with what can be obtained by the expedients of conciliation, gift and dissention.” It denounces the warring world of men by comparing it to a dog-kennel. “First there comes the wagging of tails, then turning of one round to other, then the show of teeth, then the roaring and then comes the commencement of the fights. It is the same with men; there is no difference whatever.” Yajnavalkya adds: “War is the last expedient to be used when all others have failed.” Likewise, Sri Krishna who’s Bhagwad-Gita has been styled by some as “a song of the battle,” should not be considered out and out militarist. When all the three expedients were exhausted, then alone the fourth was resorted to.

9. All possible avenues of peace such as negotiation, conciliation through conference, meditation and so on, were explored before the war was resorted to. This proves that the heart of ancient India was sound and it longed for peace, although war also was not treated as an anathema, which was to be avoided as far as possible.

2.1 Answer each of the questions given below by choosing the most appropriate option: (1X5=5)

(i) The heart of India loved ___________

(a) a highly developed military organization
(b) techniques of wars and imperialism
(c) loans
(d) pacifism

(ii) Principle of “Live and let live” means

(a) imperialism
(b) militarism
(c) frequency of wars among nations
(d) role of peace makers

(iii) Aryans preached and practiced this to the masses

(a) non-violence
(b) freedom of speech and action
(c) philosophical pacifisms
(d) practice of military organization

(iv) Mahabharata compares the warring world with

(a) wise men
(b) dog kennel
(c) song of the battle
(d) militarist

(v) Unearthing Mohan-jo–Daro reinforced the following of Pacifism

(a) there was no fortification and very few weapons
(b) they delivered the message of love
(c) they were apostles of peace
(d) thinks that the object of diplomacy is to avoid war

2.2 Answer the following questions briefly: (1X6=6)

(a) How was war treated in India?
(b) Describe India’s preparedness for war in spite of their belief in Pacifism.
(c) How did the Aryans practice the Doctrine of Pacifism?
(d) What is Ahimsa?
(e) What is the meaning of co-existence with rivals?
(f) Why should Bhagvad-Gita not be considered as “A song of the battle”?

2.3 Answer any three of the following questions in 25-30 words: (2X3=6)

(a) What kind of unity did all the seers visualize?
(b) By some, Ashoka was considered as the cause of the downfall of the Mauryas. Do you agree? Give reasons for your answer.
(c) Which options were explored by Sri Krishna before resorting to war?
(d) Throw some light on the thinking of Kautilya regarding war.

2.4 Pick out the words/phrases from the passage which are similar in meaning to the following: (1X3=3)

(a) express in definite and clear terms (para – 3)
(b) defensive wall (para – 3)
(c) the beginning (para – 8)

Marking Scheme:

2.1 Answer each of the questions given below by choosing the most appropriate option:

(a) Pacifism 1
(b) Role of peacemakers. 1
(c) Philosophical Pacifism. 1
(d) Dog kennel. 1
(e) As there was no fortification and very few weapons. 1

2.2 Answer the following questions briefly.

1. The war was never treated as an Ideal in India, it was only tolerated as unavoidable and inevitable / all attempts were made to check it and control it. 1

2. Highly developed military organization/ techniques of war and imperialism/ the open justification of war as national policy. 1

3. The doctrine of philosophical Pacifism was practiced by ancient Aryans. The great Indian teachers and savants stuck to this doctrine tenaciously, practiced and preached it to masses and royals. 1

4. Ahimsa is the doctrine of non-violence in thought, speech and action / it is an act of personal virtue.1

5. The right of the rivals to exist, not mainly as enemies but as collaborators in the building of our civilization operation / co-existence without coming in clash with each other. 1

6. It considers expedients of conciliation, gift and dissention and denounces war, when all these three expedients were exhausted, then only the fourth was resorted to. 1

2.3 Answer any three questions briefly.

(a) The unity of life, permeating all beings, animate or inanimate, which ruled out killing and suicidal wars. 2

(b) The fault lies with the weak successors of Ashoka, who could not wield the weapon of non-violence with a skill and efficiency which required the strength of a spiritual giant like Ashoka. They failed due to their subjective weakness: Pacifism itself was no cause of their failure. 2

(c) Negotiation, conciliation through conference, meditation. 2

2.4 Pick out the words/phrases from the passage which are similar in meaning to the following:

(a) Enunciated 1
(b) Fortification 1
(c) Commencement 1

3. Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow: 20

1. The titanic, in its watery grave, is a great museum of human history and is at risk of being lost forever because of curious voyagers and treasure hunters, fears Bob Ballard, who first discovered the remains of the iconic ship in 1985. Famous for discovering the great ship, Ballard is a former US Navy Officer and a professor of oceanography.

2. “Titanic is a museum of human history without door and guard. I am deeply concerned about not only the Titanic but all the ancient history that is now at risk. If we cannot save this iconic ship, then there is very little hope we can save ancient ships. The world should realize that you don’t have to go down and take everything and you do not have to do a treasure hunt. This is a common heritage of all of us and if we really want to take steps to preserve human history in the ocean, we need to start with Titanic,” Ballard said in a telephonic interview from London.

3. Ballard, as part of a tie-up, is presenting a documentary called “Save the Titanic” on the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the great ship – April 15, 1912. The ship and her fate continue to fascinate, largely because of the horror that took place that night, with 1,522 passengers and crew losing their lives.

4. Ballard says that despite being on the ocean floor for 100 years, the ship is full of human footprints. “You will find pairs of shoes everywhere. The sea and the life below has claimed everything but they do not know what to do with shoes so you will find a pair of mother’s shoes next to her little daughter and that’s their gravestone. At her wreckage, we almost felt that we were surrounded by the lifeboats of all the people that were in the water at that spot”.

5. Ballard says that the fate of Titanic continues to fascinate so many years after it sank because it is “irony personified in history”. “The story has all the ingredients to make it timelessly fascinating. You have this revolutionary ship that’s unsinkable, and carrying a cross section of people in society. And then, it goes and hits an iceberg and sinks on its maiden journey. It’s an irony personified in history”.

6. Talking about his discovery, which came after great research and 75 years later, Ballard says it was a somber moment when they first spotted the boiler of the Titanic. “In the 90s, advanced technology gave us double diving capabilities in the Atlantic Ocean. I knew that the Titanic was sitting at almost 12,000 feet. What led me to her discovery was a simple technique that I followed. We decided to look for the debris trail instead of the ship”.

7. Ballard says the ship, if preserved well and not subjected to constant submarine journeys, will last for a long time on the Atlantic floor. “The deep sea, because of its darkness, its cold temperatures and its great pressure, creates a high state of preservation. With a little caution, we can protect the Titanic for future generations to visit.”

8. Ballard has also connected to the people of Belfast, who refused to talk about the tragedy “The ship’s construction took place at Belfast. After the tragedy, families of the workers refused to talk about it because of the shame and sadness in the loss of life involved”.

3.1 On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer the following questions by choosing the best of the given choices:   1×5=5

(a) The Titanic sank on

(i) Its 100th anniversary.
(ii) 15th April, 1912.
(iii) An iconic voyage in 1985.
(iv) Leaving the port of Belfast.

(b) The Titanic continues to attract attention because

(i) It is irony personified in history.
(ii) Its advanced technology gave double diving technologies.
(iii) It is a treasure hunt.
(iv) It is a common need.

(c) Ballard’s documentary on the Titanic is titled

(i) A museum of human history
(ii) The titanic
(iii) Save the Titanic
(iv) 75 years later

(d) Bob Ballard is a

(i) Former US Navy Officer
(ii) A professor of oceanography
(iii) Both (i) and (ii)
(iv) None of the above

(e) Titanic is a museum of —————-without door and guard.

(i) Marine life
(ii) Human history
(iii) Ancient life
(iv) Old ships

3.2 Answer the following question briefly:   1×6=6

(a) What happened on April 15, 1912?
(b) What did Ballard do as part of the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic?
(c) What did Ballard see in and around the ship on the ocean floor?
(d) Why was Titanic regarded a revolutionary ship?
(e) Why did the people of Belfast refuse to talk about Titanic?
(f) Explain “it is irony personified.”

3.3 Answer the following questions in 25-30 words: (2X3=6)

(i) Who is Bob Ballard and what did he discover?
(ii) What is Ballard deeply concerned about?
(iii) What conditions under sea can protect Titanic for future generations?

3.3 Find the words from the passage which mean the same as:  1×3=3

(a) First of its kind (para 5)
(b) Very solemn or serious (para 6)
(c) The broken parts of a vehicle, building etc. (para 4)

Marking Scheme:

3.1 On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer the following questions by choosing the best of the given choices:  1×5=5

(a) 15 April 1912
(b) It is irony personified in history
(c) Save the Titanic
(d) Both (i) and (ii)
(e) Human history

1.2 Answer the following question briefly:  1×6=6

(a) On April 15, 1912 the Titanic ship, on its maiden journey, hit an iceberg and sank in the Atlantic Ocean.

(b) Ballard presented a documentary called “Save the Titanic” as part of the 100th anniversary of the Titanic.

(c) Ballard saw the ship full human footprints. He saw pairs of shoes everywhere in the ship and lifeboats around it.

(d) Titanic was regarded a revolutionary ship as it was designed and constructed in such a way that it was unsinkable.

(e) After the sinking of the ship, the people of Belfast refused to talk about the tragedy because of the shame and sadness.

(f) The Titanic which could have proved safest and unsinkable ironically turned out to be disastrous. It killed 1522 passengers.

3.3 Answer the following questions in 25-30 words: (2X3=6)

(i) Bob Ballard is a former US Navy officer and a professor of oceanography. He first discovered the remains of the Titanic in 1985.

(ii) Ballard is deeply concerned about not only the Titanic but all the ancient history that is now at risk. He says if we cannot save this iconic ship, there is very little hope we can save ancient ships.

(iii) The deep sea because of its darkness, cold temperatures and great pressure creates a high of preservation. With a little precaution, we can protect the Titanic for future generations to visit.

3.4 Find the words from the passage which mean the same as:-1×3=3

(a) First of its kind (para 5) = maiden
(b) Very solemn or serious (para 6) = Somber
(c) The broken parts of a vehicle, building etc. (para 4) = Wreckage

——–xxXxx—-—-

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