ICSE Class 10 English Unseen Passages Comprehensions with Answers

Study Material

Please refer below for the best collection of ICSE Class 10 English Unseen Passages with questions and answers prepared as per the latest syllabus and examination guidelines for English Class 10. All Comprehensions of English have been prepared based on the latest examination pattern followed in ICSE. Students should read through the passages and then solve the questions given below and then can compare their solutions with the answers given below. You can also refer to the ICSE Class 10 English Sample Papers here

English Unseen Passages ICSE Class 10

We have provided English Comprehensions with Answers for ICSE Class 10. All Unseen Passages have been provided with questions and answers. These reading comprehensions are expected to come in the upcoming ICSE Class 10th English examinations.

English Unseen Passages Comprehensions with Answers ICSE Class 10


Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow:

1. Keep your watch accurate. For some people, moving up the time on their watch will help them get up earlier. For others, they will remember that the time on the watch is wrong and will disregard it altogether. It may be helpful to set your watch just two minutes ahead instead of five or ten.

2. Keep a clock, computer or anything that displays time in each room of your house. One of the easiest ways to run late is simply by not realizing that the time is passing as quickly as it

3. Set all your clocks and watches to the same ti Don’t be an optimist. Things usually take longer than what you’d expect, even without major delays. If you have a dinner appointment at 7:30 p.m., don’t think you can work till 7 p.m., then take a bath, dress and reach on time. Realistically, calculate the time you will take at each step and then add 10 minutes more to allow for unexpected delays, or you cannot get to your job done in time.

4. Wake up when you are supposed to wake up. Don’t hit the snooze button, keep on lying in bed, and watch TV at the very start of your day. May be you can try even setting your clock 10 minutes earlier than you need. If you have difficulty with this, move your alarm clock to somewhere away from your bed; that way, you will get up to turn it off. Commit yourself to being 15 minutes early for everything. If you have to reach your place of work at 8:00, don’t even tell yourself th Just tell yourself and everyone else who listens – but don’t annoy them or make them think that they are late or early! “I have to be at work at 7:45.” If you do this, you will be on time even with little unforeseen delays. You will be on time even with a traffic jam.

Complete the following statements using words/phrases from the passage.

(a) Some people believe that if …………….. it will help them be earlier .


They move time on their watch

(b) Many others know ……………….. they disregard it altogether .


That the time on the watch is wrong and

(c) Keep ……………… in each room.


A clock , phone , computer or anything that displays time

(d) One of the things that can be done is ……… of five or ten minutes.


Setting your clock early by just two minutes instead of

(e) Many a time we do not realize that ……………..


The time is passing as quickly as it is

(f) Instead of pressing the snooze button ……………..


Wake up when you are supposed to

(g) If you have difficulty in getting up ………………..


Try setting your clock 10 minutes earlier than you need

(h) It is a good habit to …………………….somewhere away from your bed.


Move your alarm clock

(i) It is good to commit yourself ………….. for everything.


To being 15 minutes early


Read the passage given below and below and answer the questions that follow :

1. Music is perhaps the most popular and widely practiced form of fine arts , transcending all kinds of cultural and linguistic barriers . Any form of fine art is difficult to master and almost impossible to perfect and music is no exception .

2. Nature , it is learnt , has blessed almost two – thirds of the human race with musical ability of some sort . Music has the power to bring out the deepest emotions . It can make one cry or bring a smile on one’s face . In fact it is a magic medicine and many seek refuge in it , when they are depressed or stressed . It is this intimacy that makes us listen to music or even hum or sing sometimes . This singing or realistically speaking , expressing one’s emotions musically sometimes takes a serious turn . This desire to show musical expression in public then becomes a serious business profession . From here the musical journey begins .

3. The desire to sing before an audience is innocent and beautiful and indeed it is perfectly alright to have such a genuine desire . But it is also important to understand that singing is an intricate art – a highly refined one at that , which requires systematic , prolonged and strict training , to be acceptable . This is an aspect we forget in our keen desire to reach the stage and perform . It is almost like preparing a formal meal for some specially invited guests , without even having learnt and trained in the basics of cooking . This is why we have more noise and less music nowadays .

4. These days almost everyone sings and it does not stop here . Most of us want to become professional sin Result : a complete disregard for and ignorance of the training part , as the need is never felt to go through one and the urge to get the stage and perform overcomes even a little desire to learn , if any , If at all , somewhere along the ways one feels the need to gain some knowledge and training , it leads to hurried shortcut and half-hearted attempts , best described as ‘ crash courses ‘.

5. It is observed that those who have attained the so called partial success , suddenly feel that they lack the required knowledge and are not learned enough . But it is too late by then . It should be understood here that the stage or a performance brings in a different mindset within the artist . It is always recommended and rightly said that while on stage , cover the mistakes and weaknesses if any and get along . But the contrary is true when it comes to acquiring knowledge and during the learning process . While under training , the student is expected to make mistakes under the supervision and guidance of the teacher . Therefore , it is good to make mistakes and then be corrected during the process of learning as this subsequently makes one flawless and educated .

This is a different mindset . These two mindsets discussed above , (those of a performer and that of a student ) cannot co-exist .

1. On the basis of your understanding of the above passage , answer any four of the following questions in 30-40 words each : 

(a) The desire to sing in public overcome the need to train . Elaborate .


Almost everyone now wants to become professional singers . They completely discourage the training process . They just want to get to the stage and perform . They think training as a sheer wastage of time

(b) How can we say that music is a magic medicine ?


Music has the power to bring out the deepest emotion . It can make one cry or bring a smile on one’s face. Many take refuge in it when they are depressed or stressed, Thus , we can say that music is a magic medicine .

(c) What is best described as ‘ crash course’?


Hurried shortcuts and half-hearted attempts at learning something are described as ‘ crash courses’.

(d) What should be the mindset of a student of music ?


The mindset should be to make mistakes during the training process and subsequently rectify those mistakes.

(e) Why is singing a refined and intricate art ?


Singing is an intricate art because it requires systematic , prolonged and strict training .

2. On the basis of your understanding of the above passage , answer any four of the following :

(a) Almost ………. Of human population is blessed with musical ability of some sort .
(i) Two – third
(ii) one-third
(iii) half
(iv) one-fifth


(i) two-thirds

(b) Any form of …………….. is difficult to master .
(i)Visual art
(ii)audio-visual art
(iii) fine art
(iv) design art


(iii) fine arts

(c) ‘Transcending’ in para 1 means :
(i) Down under
(ii) rise above
(iii) surrender
(iv) fail


(ii)rise above

(d) ‘Refuge’ in para 2 means :
(i) Shelter from rain
(ii) shelter from storm
(iii) shelter from happiness
(iv) shelter from sun


(iii) shelter from unhappiness

(e) ‘Partial’ in para 5 means :
(i) unfair
(iii) whole
(iv) total


(ii) incomplete


Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follows :

Great people are born to produce an influence on society. One such personality, who was so humble and lived his complete life with determination and purpose to achieve certain aims was Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar . He was a great social reformer, writer, educator and worked endlessly to transform the society . He strongly protested against polygamy and child marriage. He favored widow remarriage and women’s education in India .The Widow Remarriage Act was passed in 1856 making the marriage of the widows legal because of his efforts to solve these problems .

Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar refined the way Bengali language was written and taught.His book ‘Borno Porichoy’ is still used as the introductory text to teach Bengali alphabet . Thus . he brought about a revolution in the Bengali Education System . Vidyasagar is credited with the role of completely changing the old method of teaching which prevailed in Sanskrit College . As a professor in Sanskrit College , he bought modern outlook into the method of teaching . He included English and Bengali as mediums of learning besides Sanskrit . He also introduced courses in Europeon History , Philosophy and Science alongside Vedic scriptures. He encouraged students to study these subjects and make the best of both the worlds .

Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was a strong advocate of women education . He rightly viewed education as the primary way for women to achieve emancipation from the society’s oppression they had to face at that time . He exercised his power to open schools for girls and even outlined suitable curriculum to educate them . He went from door to door , requesting heads of families to allow their daughters to be enrolled in schools.

Ishwar Chandra was a man who defined his own path of action . He never listened to what others said about his work and made decisions based on his own judgement. He was famous for all these qualities. He was also known for his great courage . Vidyasagar had a very soft heart that sympathized with those in trouble . He was easily moved to tears when he saw someone in pain and was always the first one to offer his help to colleagues and friends in distress. After his death , Rabindranath Tagore said, ”one wonders how God , in the process of producing forty million Bengalis, produced a man!”

(A) Answer the following questions :

(i)What kind of life did Ishwar Chandra lead ?


He lived a humble and purposeful life .

(ii) What changes did Vidyasagar bring about in the method of teaching at Sanskrit College ?


He brought modern outlook into the method of teaching .

(iii) What was Vidyasagar ‘s contribution as a professor in the Sanskrit College ?


He included English and Bengali as the medium of learning besides Sanskrit / introduced courses of European History , Philosophy , science, vedic scriptures etc .

(iv) How dod Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar promote women education ?


He opened schools for girls , outlined suitable curriculum to educate them , went from door to door and requested heads of families to send their daughters to schools .

(v) How can we say that Vidyasagar was a softhearted man ?


As he always sympathized with those in trouble , we can say that Vidyasagar was a softhearted man .

(B) Choose the meaning of the words given below with the help of the options that follows :

(i) influence
(a) income
(b) inside
(c) impression
(d) attraction


(b) impression

(ii) transform
(a) improve
(b) change
(c) impress
(d) insist


(b) change

(iii) advocate
(a) Caretaker
(b) promoter
(c) neighbor
(d) aggressor


(b) promoter

(iv) emancipation
(a) Oppression
(b) control
(c) freedom
(d) contribution


(c) freedom

(v) distress
(a) unhappiness
(b) safety
(c) calmness
(d) joy


(a) unhappiness or pain


Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follows :

(1) It is an indisputable fact that the world has gone too far with the advancement of new technologies such as mobile phones, the internet and so on, due to which people are able to tour the cosmos virtually sitting one place using their smart devices or other technological gadgets. Though mobile, internet access is ten times hurried and short, it can still provide common internet features like alerts, weather data, e-mails, search engines, instant messages and game and music downloading.

(2) Due to the easy access of smart phones, communication has become very effective and instant. People are able to convey their message all around the globe to their loved ones without spending hefty sums of money. Adults are always fond of such gadgets and they always welcome and adopt such new technology readily. Further, young people have been able to broaden their minds and improve their skill by doing research on the internet. For instance, they use smart phones to look up any new word they come across. As we know that most of the universities have online teaching provision, smart phones assist the students to complete their assignments on time.

(3) The mobile phone has been a lifesaver for a lot of people in case of an emergency. Likewise, use of smart phones can be of vital importance in preventing crimes in the society by providing information to the security forces in time.

(4) Nonetheless, for the young, the use of mobile phone can be like an addiction and they can misuse it. Young people also prone to getting involved in undesirable activities on the internet. This might have adverse effect on their academic performance. Therefore, young people should always be mentored and made aware of its bad outcomes.

(5) Also a major contributor to its popularity is the availability of prepaid or pay as you go on services from a phone shop or an online store. This allows subscribers to load text or airtime credits to their handsets by the use of their credit cards , debit cards or by buying a prepaid card from the network they subscribe to . This plan also doesn’t commit a particular customer to a contract. If prepaid card is not that appealing to you , then you can opt to subscribe using the pay by month plan .

(A) On the basis of your reading of the passage , answer any four of the following questions : 

(i) How are smart phones helpful in communication ?


Due to the advent of smart phones , communication has become very effective , instant and less expensive .

(ii) What are the benefits of mobile phones for the young generation ?


-able to broaden their minds and improve their skills by doing research on the internet .
-help in online learning.
-help look up new word they come across.
-help complete assignments on time .
-provide online teaching .

(iii) How can mobile phones be considered ‘ lifesavers’?


Can help in any emergency and prevent crimes by providing information on to security forces .

(iv) Mention any two demerits of mobile phones .


Adverse impacts/affects academics performance can lead to addiction / waste of time /misuse –get involved in undesirable activities.

(v) How is a prepaid card useful to mobile phone users ?


Allows subscribers to load text / airtime credits to their handsets , it doesn’t commit a particular customer to a contract one , can opt to subscribe using the pay by monthly plan

(B) On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer any four of the following:

(i) In para 1 , synonym of ’innovation’ is …………..
(a) production
(b) sincerity
(c) invention
(d) prevention


(c) invention

(ii) Mobile internet can provide access to :
(a) Telegram
(b) e-mails
(c) schools
(d) university


(b) e-mails

(iii) Grown-ups should ……………….. the use of new technology by the young people.
(b) criticize
(c) monitor
(d) accept


(c) monitor

(iv) Meaning of the word ‘ adverse ‘ in para 4 is
(a) Positive
(b) negative
(c) admirable
(d) unguided



(v) Accordingly to the passage , one can opt for …………. Plan if prepaid plan doesn’t suit .
(a) yearly
(b) weekly
(c) monthly
(d) daily


(c) monthly


Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follows :

Gandhiji was an incurable and irresistible fund raiser . He found special relish in getting jewellery from women . Ranibala of Burdwan was ten years old . One day , she was playing with Gandhiji . He explained to her that her bangles were too heavy for her delicate little wrists . She removed the bangles and gave them away to Gandhiji .

He used to talk jokingly to small girls and created distaste for ornaments and created a desire in them to part with the jewellery for the sake of the poor . He motivated them to donate their jewellery for social usage .

Kasturba didn’t appreciate this habit of Gandhiji. Once she stated calmly,”You don’t wear jewels . it is easy for you to get around the boys . But what about our daughters-in-law ? They would surely want them “.

“Well!” Gandhiji put in mildly ,”Our children are young and when they grow up they will not surely choose wives who are fond of wearing jewellery .” Kasturba was very upset with the answer .

Gandhiji was determined to keep the jewels to raise the community fund . He was of the opinion that a public worker should accept no costly gifts . He believed that he should not own anything costly , whether given or earned. Kasturba was female with a desire to adorn. But Gandhiji moved towards renunciation and donated every penny earned in South Africa to the trustees for the service of the South African Indians.

(A) Answer the questions given below :

(i) How did Gandhiji create a distaste for jewellery in Ranibala ?


Telling her that her bangles were too heavy for her delicate little wrists

(ii) What was Kasturba’s apprehension about their daughters-in-law ?


(a) daughters-in-laws would like to have ornaments .
(b) They would not appreciate Gandhiji’s attitude

(iii) What solution did Gandhiji suggest for the problem posed by Kasturba ?


When their sons grow up they would prefer wives who were not fond of jewellery

(iv) How did Gandhiji serve the community ?


(a) motivated the rich to donate their jewellery for social usage or for the poor .
(b) Worked hard by inspiring people to raise the community fund .  
(c) Donated his earnings for the service of the South African Indians .

(v) How did Ranibala react to Gandhiji’s explaination ?


Ranibala removed her bangles and gave them away to Gandhiji .

(B) Find meaning for any four of the given words below from the options that follows:

(i) incurable : ( para1 )
(a) unreliable
(b) untreatable
(c) disagreeable
(d) unbeatable


(b) untreatable

(ii) motivated : (para 2 )
(a) Encouraged
(b) emboldened
(c) incited
(d) softened


(a) encouraged

(iii) upset : ( para 4 )
(a) Puzzled
(b) furious
(c) confused
(d) distressed


(d) distressed

(iv) renunciation : ( para 5 )
(a) Giving up
(b) disagreement
(c) opposition
(d) termination


(a) giving up

(v) relish : ( para 1 )
(a) sweet
(b) tasty
(c) liking
(d) interest


(c) liking


Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follows :

1. Have you ever failed at something so miserably that the thought of attempting to do it again was the last thing you wanted to do ?

2. If your answer is yes , then you are “ not a robot “. Unlike robots , we human being have feelings , emotion and dreams . We are all meant to grow and stretch despite our circumstances and our limitations . Flourishing and trying to make our dreams come true is great when life is going our way . But what happens when it’s not ? What happens when you fail despite all of your hardwork ? Do you stay down and accept the defeat or do you get up again and again until you are satisfied ? If you have a tendency to preserve and keep going then you have what experts call , grit.

3. Falling down or failing is one of the most agonisizing , embarrassing and scariest human experienc But it is also one of the most educational , empowering and essential parts of living a successful and fulfilling life. Did you know that perseverance (grit) is one of the seven qualities that have been described as the keys to personal success and betterment in society ? The other six are : curiosity, gratitude, optimism, self control, social intelligence and zest . Thomas Edison is a model for grit for trying 1000 plus times to invent the light bulb. If you are reading this with the lights on in your room , you know well he succeeded . When asked why he kept going despite his hundreds of failures , he merely stated that they were not failures. They were hundreds of ways not to create a light bulb . This statement not only revealed his grit but also his optimism for looking at the bright side .

4. Grit can be learnt to help you become more successfu One of the techniques that help is mindfulness. Mindfulness is a practice that helps the individual stay in the moment by bringing awareness of his or her experience without judgement . This practice has been used to quiet noise of their fears and doubts . Through the simple practice of mindfulness , individuals have the ability to stop the self-sabotaging, downward spiral of hopelessness , despair and frustration .

5. What did you do to overcome the negative and self-sabotaging feelings of failure? Reflect on what you did , and try to use those same powerful recourses to help you today .

(A) On the basis of your reading of the passage , answers any four of the following questions in about 30 -40 words each :

(i) According to the passage , what are the attributes of a human ?


Feelings, emotions , dreams , eagerness to grow and flourish to realize dreams are some of the attributes of a human.

(ii) What is perceived as grit ?


If you have a tendency to persevere and keep going , then you have what experts call grit .

(iii) How is ‘failing’ an educational and empowering part of human life ?


Failing teaches how to be perseverant and keep going for one’s goals. Each failure makes one understand what to do and what not to do .

(iv) In what ways can grit be developed ?


Do not accept defeat; effort to overcome limitations ; not to stay down .

(v) How does mindfulness help ?


Mindfulness is a practice that helps the individual stay in the moment by bringing awareness of his or her experience without judgment. This practice is a technique that many have used to quieten the noise of their fears and doubts.

(B) On the basis of your reading of the passage , answers any four of the following :

(i) While inventing the light bulb , Thomas Edison has failed …………..
(a) 1000 times
(b) 10000 times
(c) 100 times
(d) 10 times


(i) 1000

(ii) Failure is a part of ……….. life .
(a) Normal
(b) common
(c) human
(d) ordinary


(ii) human

(iii) In para 2 , ……….. means continue .
(a) Robots
(b) satisfied
(c) persevere
(d) flourishing


(iii) persevere

(iv) In para 3 , the synonym of ‘ distressing’ is ……………
(a) Embarrassing
(b) scariest
(c) agonizing
(d) failing



(v) ……………….. helps in preventing individuals from going down the lines of despair .
(a) mindfulness
(b) satisfied
(c) persevere
(d) flourishing


(v) Mindfulness


Two-thirds of a century into India’s independence, two aspects of the country’s political evolution are noteworthy. The first is the institutionalization of the periodic transfer of power, peacefully and predictably, recently evident in NDA’s victory earlier this year. But the journey has been much rockier with regard to another critical question: how to direct that power for the broader public good.

While popular commentary on political power focuses on its misuse for private gain or corruption, there has been less attention on the limited ability of political power to translate intentions into outcomes.

The history of independent India is replete with government programmes, ranging from state-owned enterprises to multiple poverty programmes, where political power did have good intentions, but where outcomes have left much to be desired. Critics have put the onus on misaligned incentives and a craven political-bureaucratic nexus.

These factors have their roots in a distinctive feature of India’s political evolution: namely the weakness of the Indian state, hobbled as much by lack of competence as by corruption. Historically the state in India has always been weak and this changed only modestly after Independence. Yes, the state expanded massively; and yes the social composition of the functionaries of the Indian state has changed markedly.

Size and social legitimacy undoubtedly have built state ‘strength’ — the negative power of the Indian state to thwart is certainly manifest. But positive power — the power to do something, to execute programmes and provide basic public goods that are the bread and butter of a state’s responsibilities to its citizens — is still a far cry.

Why strong states develop in some societies and not in others is a complex historical question. One argument is that a strong state can only be built on a firm foundation of nationhood which itself is still a work-in-progress in India. Another view is that warfare laid the foundations of the modern nation state especially in Europe and East Asia. Historian Charles Tilly famously argued that states make war and war makes states, a reference to the rise of the modern European state after centuries of warfare among hundreds of polities and kingdoms. The ability to wage war successfully requires states to create viable systems of taxation, mobilization and coordination — and only those states that can, survive. But these attributes are also critical for any modern state to deliver public goods and services.


1. How has the transfer of power in India taken place?


The transfer of power in India has taken place quite peacefully and in a democratic manner.

2. Why has the journey been much rockier regarding the second critical question?


Regarding translating good intentions into solid result, the journey has been quite rockier for the government so far.

3. Why has there been less attention on the implementation of schemes?


There has been more stress on talking than, giving attention to the implementation, of schemes by the government.

4. What were the outcomes of the good intentions of the government?


The outcomes of the good intentions of the government were not very encouraging.

5. Whom do critics hold responsible for this poor show?


Misaligned incentives and the nexus between politicians and bureaucrats have been held responsible for the poor show.

6. What has still remained a far cry?


Providing relief to the masses and implementing the welfare programmes has remained a far cry so far.

7. What is another view regarding laying the foundations of the modern nation state?


Another view is that warfare laid the foundations of the modern nation state in Europe and East Asia.

8. What has the historian Charles Tilly argued?


Historian Charles Tilly argues that states make war and war makes states.



With high-visibility film releases and continued discounts on all brands, Delhiites usually have a lot to do on their much awaited August 15 holiday. But as some kite lovers tell us, even with all the options available to them, switching off from those options and coming back to kites and socializing is worth it. Amit Chadha, who runs his own business in Kamla Nagar, tells us, “The excitement of flying kites is not the same as it used to be when we were kids. Tab toh kuch aur hota hi nahi tha karne ko, sirf terrace kite wars hote they. Now, cancelling movie and travel plans to fly kites with friends seems like a bad idea to most, but my group of friends and I still make it happen. We think it’s worth switching off from the usual rigmarole on one day and doing something relaxed and fun like this. Every year, we get a lot of friends who see our updates online, and then join us by the evening. This year also, we have a kite flying get-together at my place on the 15th.”

Saurabh Tiwari, an MBA student staying with his family in Paschim Vihar in West Delhi, adds, “I’ve been away from home for the last two I-Days, but now that I am back, I want to do what we’ve always done on this day — get a music system on the roof, some snacks, lots of friends – and fly kites. I have made a WhatsApp group and I’m convincing my friends to get together and come over to our old flat’s terrace. August 15 used to be a day-long kite-flying party for us, and I really want to do the same thing now, even though it doesn’t happen so much in other parts of the city these days.”

Passing on the tradition

Getting over the whole August 15 kite flying concept is most difficult for children of the 80s and the 90s, who have grown up participating in society functions where they indulged in kite battles. And for them, getting their kids and the next generation excited about the same is a very “important challenge”. Juhi Malpani Bhatt, a professor of architecture, who stays with her family in Dwarka, tells us, “When we were kids, we would get excited about kites weeks in advance. I really missed all that when I moved out of Delhi for a short while. But now, I want both my kids to feel the same way about kites. We’ve been getting them kites for the past couple of years, and thanks to their school functions and our efforts, they’ve developed a liking for it and that makes me happy and nostalgic.”

Vinod Taneja, who works with a bank in Green Park, is still trying to get his kids out of their rooms and onto the terrace. He says, “For us, kite flying came so naturally. We were never taught how to do it, bas dekhi dikhai ho jaati thi. I am trying to get my son to be involved in the whole August 15 kite flying thing now. But usko TV se hata ke upar leke jaana hi ek struggle hai. Plus, how do I teach him? This year again, we’ve got kites and manjhas and have invited friends over. I really want him to feel the way we felt about this day. So let’s see what happens.”


1. What do some kite lovers tell about their option?


Some kite lovers would like to use the option of flying kites on August 15.

2. What does Amit Chadha say about the excitement of flying kites?


Amit Chadha feels that the excitement of flying kites is not the same as it used to be when he was a kid.

3. Do people in general like cancelling movies and travel plans to fly kites?


No, people in general would not like cancelling movies and travel plans to fly kites.

4. How does Saurabh Tiwari enjoy flying kites on the roof?


Saurabh Tiwari will take some snacks, a music system and lots of friends on the roof to enjoy kite flying on the Independence Day.

5. Is getting over the whole August 15 kite flying concept easy for children of the 80s and 90s?


No, the children of 80s and 90s were brought up in the tradition of flying kites on the Independence Day.

6. What makes Juhi happy and nostalgic?


Flying kites on the Independence Day with her kids makes Juhi happy and nostalgic.

7. How does Vinod Taneja struggle with his son regarding kite flying?


Vinod Taneja struggles with his son as the child is glued to the television and has no interest in flying kites.

8. What does Vinod Taneja want his son to feel?


Vinod Taneja wants his son to feel the way he felt about the Independence Day himself when he was a kid.


It was in the 1986 Asian Games at Seoul when Kartar Singh beat Pakistan’s Shahid Pervaiz Butt in 100kg category to claim the yellow metal. It was the last time an Indian grappler had won gold in the Asian Games.

Twenty eight years hence, the wrestling contingent will be looking to break the jinx. The wrestling squad -7 freestyle, 7 Greco-Roman and 4 women will be without two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar who pulled out due to a shoulder injury and lack of preparation.

In his absence, London Olympics bronze medallist and Glasgow Commonwealth Games gold winner Yogeshwar Dutt will spearhead the Indian challenge in Incheon. “We have trained very well. Sushil ki kami khalegi (The squad will miss Sushil’s presence). But we are still expecting around four to five medals in freestyle and this includes some gold medals too. In wrestling, an Asian Games medal is like winning the World Championship,” a confident Yogeshwar said.

India’s performance dropped from six medals (1 silver and 5 bronze) in the 2006 Asiad in Doha to only three bronze medals in 2010. But this time round, the squad promises to surpass expectations.

Young Amit Kumar, who won gold in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and bronze in the World Championship, is one of the leading contenders for gold in the 57kg category. World No. 1 Hassan Rahimi of Iran is likely to pose a tough challenge for the Indian, who is ranked second in the world.

World No. 5 Narasingh Yadav will fill in for Sushil in the 74kg category while World Junior medallist Praveen Rana (70kg), who also won a gold in Colorado Springs, US, early this year, will look to impress. The 70kg category is being introduced for the first time after the International wrestling federation (FILA) introduced new rules and tweaked weight categories late last year in an attempt to make the sport more exciting.

Glasgow CWG silver medallist Bajrang Punia (61kg), bronze medallist Pawan Kumar (86kg) and silver medallist Satayavrat Kadiyan (97kg) complete the line-up in the freestyle category.

There will be no participation in the 125kg category. The Indians are likely to face a stiff challenge from South Korea, Mongolia, Iraq, Japan and Kazakhstan.

“This team is better than the team that participated in Guangzhou in 2010. Yogeshwar and Amit are contenders for gold while Bajrang, Praveen and Narsingh have the capability to contribute to India’s medal haul,” coach Yashvir summed it up.

In the Greco-Roman, India, traditionally a force at the Asian level, are likely to return with a rich medal haul. The squad includes five-time Commonwealth champion and Asian Games bronze medalist Ravinder, Asian champion Krishan Kumar Yadav, World Championship bronze winner Sandeep Yadav, Asian Championship bronze medalist Manoj Kumar and, Arjuna Awardee Dharmender Dalal.


1. When did an Indian grappler win gold in the Asian games last time?


It was in 1986 Asian games at Seoul when the Indian wrestler Kartar Singh won the gold medal last.

2. What has the wrestling contingent been looking forward to during these 28 years?


During these 28 years the wrestling contingent has been looking forward to break the jinx.

3. Name the Olympic medalist who has pulled out of the games due to a shoulder injury.


Sushil Kumar, the two time Olympic medallist, has pulled out of the Asian Games 2014 due to a shoulder injury.

4. Who will spearhead the Indian challenge in wrestling in Incheon?


Yogeshwar Dutt, who won the bronze at the London Olympics will spearhead the Indian challenge in wrestling in Incheon.

5. How is winning an Asian games medal in wrestling like?


Winning an Asian Games medal in wrestling is like winning the world championship.

6. How did India perform in 2010 in New Delhi?


India’s performance dropped from six medals in Doha to only three bronzes in 2010 Asian Games.

7. Who will fill in for Sushil in the 74 kg category at the Asian games?


Nar singh Yadav, World No. 5, will fill in for Sushil in the 74 kg category.

8. Name the countries that will throw a stiff challenge to Indian wrestlers in Incheon.


South Korea, Mongolia, Iraq, Japan and Kazakhstan will throw a stiff challenge to Indian wrestlers in Incheon.



The ministry of environment and forests has asked for the public’s comments on reviewing five crucial environmental laws, including the Air and Water (prevention and control of pollution) Acts—any amendment to which will impact the city massively.

Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), the pollution watchdog that implements these acts in Delhi, will not comment. DPCC officials claimed MoEF hasn’t asked them to. “We are not sure if we are supposed to express our views. We may comment once the draft new law is ready. The state governments can’t do much when a committee to review the laws has already been set up,” said a senior official.

Sanjiv Kumar, environment secretary, Delhi, also said he has no idea if state governments are to make suggestions. The committee, however, said on MoEF’s website that it “desires” to engage in consultation with state governments.

Meanwhile, environmentalists are concerned they may not be able to articulate how these Acts can be strengthened given the ministry’s 1,000 character (a little over six text messages) limit. Many are worried the review has been commissioned to dilute environmental laws and penalties on polluters, especially industries.

Rahul Choudhury, advocate and NGT Bar Association member said, “There is no scope to dilute these laws because they are already very weak.” He cited the example of state pollution control boards that continue to renew no objection certificates to industries not conforming to norms. “There is no provision in the acts to review past conduct by pollution boards and revoke NOCs. The head of the board is usually a political appointee, often with no knowledge of environmental issues. Such loopholes make things easy for industries,” he said.

Comparing the country’s pollution control boards with the US Environmental Protection Agency, Choudhury said, “They have far more stringent parameters. In the last few years, more than 80% industries in Ghaziabad and Noida have not been complying with the Air Act”.

C R Babu, DU professor emeritus and chairman of the state-level expert appraisal committee, and Anumita Roychowdhury, head of Centre for Science and Environment’s clean air programme, said emissions from automobiles need to be brought under the Air Act from the motor vehicle (MV) Act. As of now, vehicular emissions are under MV Act.

“I am quite certain that this process has been started to weaken the acts but this will not help business in the long run. We will lose out tremendously on natural capital and ecological services. Can you imagine what’s going to happen if air and water pollution control laws are relaxed further in Delhi? People can’t survive in the city if that happens,” said Babu.


I. Answer briefly:

1. Why has the ministry of environment and forests asked for public comments on environmental laws?


The ministry of environment and forests has asked for public comments on environmental laws to review them rationally and amending Air and Water Acts, if needed, in the changing circumstances.

2. Why are environmentalists worried?


Environmentalists don’t have genuine faith in the intention of the ministry of environment and forests. They are worried that the review has been commissioned only to dilute the laws regarding the prevention of pollution.

3. How do India’s pollution control boards compare with their counterparts in the US?


In the US, the US Environmental Agency has far more stringent parametres when compared to their counterparts in India. In the last few years, 80% of industries in Ghaziabad and Noida have not been complying with their Act.

4. What will happen if air and water pollution control laws are relaxed in Delhi?.


It will have a disastrous effect on the environment if air and water pollution control laws are relaxed in Delhi. People can’t survive in the city if that happens.

II. Vocabulary: 

1. The word ‘articulate’ means
(a) speaking
(b) writing clearly
(c) meditating
(d) expressing clearly


(d) expressing clearly

2. Synonym for the word ‘harsh’ in the passage is:
(a) hard
(b) difficult
(c) stringent
(d) tough


(c) stringent

3. The noun form of the word ‘pollute’ is:
(a) polluting
(b) pollution
(c) polluted
(d) none of these


(b) pollution

4. The opposite of ‘strengthening’ in the passage is:
(a) weakening
(b) diluting
(c) removing
(d) eliminating


(b) diluting



So many religious and ethnic groups, so much cultural diversity… over 350 languages; more than 1600 dialects; nearly 650 different tribes. A different food habit every few kilometers… and yet, one country!

With Independence, we just didn’t become free from British rule; we regained the freedom to be what we are, to live the way we want to. And that freedom has been the hallmark of this great region.It’s not a coincidence that India has never invaded a country in her long history. It’s her unwritten mission statement to be a giver, not a taker. She gave the concept of zero to the world; the game of chess, algebra, trigonometry and calculus; she gave the world its first university, the earliest school of medicine, and she gave four religions to the world. She nurtures hundreds of mosques, churches, temples and gurdwaras, to name a few; she gave asylum to more than 300,000 refugees who fled religious and political persecution. The list is endless and unparalleled. But all this will pale in front of one gift she has given to the world: PRAYER.

Take for example the most popular Gayatri Mantra. It doesn’t invoke God for any small individual comfort. Instead, it calls out for inspiration and guidance for our intellect. No polytheism, no segregation, no discrimination. Just a genuine cry for righteousness! And that has been core of all common and popular prayers of this nation. A longing to move from untruth to truth; from darkness to light and from death to immortality is the spirit of “Asato ma sad gamaya…” Where else can we find a more inclusive wish for wellbeing than the meaning of “Sarve bhavantu sukhinah…”? This elementary prayer wishes happiness, goodness, and freedom from misery and pain for all.

There is even a prayer seeking not to hate each other. Add to it such simple but profound prayers like “Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu” (May peace and happiness prevail) and Satyam param dhimahi (Let truth, divinity and knowledge shine through me). They unite the entire creation into a bond of divine blessing. Another one-liner that is mind boggling for its exclusiveness came to my knowledge when I heard Sri Sri Ravi Shankar inspire a huge gathering to say the prayer “Annadata shukhbava” before eating. It was different from the more traditional mealtime prayers like the “Brahma arpanam…” But when explained how this wish for happiness covers the entire food chain from the farmer to the miller to the trader to the cook to the waitress… I was awestruck.

It made me wonder why we haven’t made such deep prayers a part of our national consciousness. Who can have objections to praying for such divine attributes? They nowhere limit whom you should pray to. Allah, Jesus, Krishna, Ganesh or Shiva don’t seem to matter. Then, why are our children not being taught the essence of these prayers? Those who protest such prayers in the name of secularism not only expose their ignorance of their meaning, but also do the biggest disservice to the ideals of secularism. If everybody is blessed with these attributes, the essence of secularism will be a fait accompli.

It’s time to turn to the last word of the Rig Veda, another gem from the Indic region. This word is the ultimate essence of unity. It’s a commitment, a call to move together, not just at the physical level but at the levels of thoughts, feelings and consciousness. Sanghachadwam! Let’s progress together!


I. Answer briefly:

1. Why has India never invaded a country in her long history?


India has never invaded any country in her long history as it has her unwritten statement. It has always been a ‘giver’ and not a ‘taker’.

2. What does the Gayatri Mantra invoke?


The ‘Gayatri Mantra’ doesn’t invoke God for small individual gains. It is a genuine cry for righteousness and well-being of mankind.

3. How does the prayer “Annadata Shukhbava” cover the entire food-chain?


The prayer “Annadata Shukhbava” is a wish for happiness. It covers the entire food chain from the farmer to the miller, from the trader to the cook and the waitress.

4. How is the last word of the Rig Veda the ultimate essence?


The last word of the Rig Veda is the ultimate essence of unity at both the physical as well as the levels of thoughts, feelings and consciousness. It invokes progressing together.

II. Vocabulary:

1. Forms of spoken languages are called:
(a) languages
(b) dialects
(c) alphabets
(d) letters


(b) dialects

2. Synonym for the word ‘harassment’ in the passage is:
(a) persecute
(b) persecution
(c) torture
(d) torturing


(b) persecution

3. The correct noun form of the word ‘segregate’ is:
(a) segregated
(b) segregating
(c) segregation
(d) segregate


(c) segregation

4. The expression ‘fait accompli’ means:
(a) as already decided by fate
(b) fate
(c) fortune
(d) fate will decide


(a) as already decided by fate



In 1999, sitting in the Srinagar Development Authority office with a team of planners to prepare the city’s 2000-21 master plan, I had not thought that it would stand gravely defied within its lifetime. Did the planners foresee Jhelum swelling up to breach the embankments, and water engulfing the whole city? Probably not.

Perhaps we were not so far-sighted, and driven only by the history of disasters in the city rather than their future possibilities. This is not a handicap exclusive to those of us who drew up what we thought was a forward-looking master plan for Srinagar.

Veteran planner G M Pampori was leading the team based on his experience of preparing the first master plan of the city (1971-91). At 78 years, he appeared impatient and twitchy, as the exercise had started late – almost a decade late. The last master plan had lapsed in 1991. For almost 10 years we lived without a master plan in one of the most rapidly urbanising cities, and Srinagar in all probability was not an exception. The city grew at a fast rate, water bodies shrank, unauthorised colonies came up. Residents certainly took their land, nature, vegetation and water bodies for granted.

Stand on top of Shankaracharya hill in Srinagar overlooking the city, and you can tell that the centre of Srinagar city is Dal Lake. The city shares a unique relationship with water. Water bodies have played a huge role in its expansion and development. Geological evidence proves that Kashmir was once a vast lake, and this is also part of the many narratives on Kashmir, most famously Rajatarangini by Kalhana.

Meandering Vitasta — ancient name of river Jhelum — was the genesis of Srinagar city, which served as the main artery of transportation and as the nerve centre of its social and cultural life. People’s daily life revolved around the river and the numerous water channels linked to it. Today, old-age monuments situated on its banks are clustered with buildings of the modern city.

Dal, Nagin, Anchar lakes, river Jhelum, wetlands like Khushalsar, Hokarsar and many other water bodies make the city a picturesque sight, besides continuing to provide it vital means of sustenance. They have borne silent witness to ruthless modernisation, villages turning into towns, towns turning into cities. Modern concrete structures squeezed out natural bodies, and master plans were repeatedly violated.

The city grew oblivious to its surroundings and expanded without showing any mercy to its water bodies and natural habitat. Encroachment on Dal Lake reduced its size to 15% of the original, shrinking it from 75 sq km to around 12 sq km.

The natural hydrology of this region connects its water bodies through small channels, to provide natural flow and even outflow of water within them. Rapid urbanisation and growth have cut off these connections between the water bodies and increased pollution in them. This has led to choking of several lakes — including Dal Lake — which earlier formed a natural flood lung of Jhelum, and took in reverse flows when it flooded. A flood spill channel was also constructed in the early 20th century to take the strain of water in Jhelum when it passed through the city, but it hardly worked.

The early 20th century also witnessed the beginning of a continuous, ongoing process of migration from the inner, older core to city suburbs. New residential colonies came up and Srinagar got its first motorable roads, leading to a decline of its traditional system of canal transportation. As a result, in the 1970s the famous Nallah Mar Canal (built in the 15th century) was filled in and a road-widening scheme was launched along its bank, cutting through much of the historical fibre of the city. This scheme also spelled ecological doom for the Brarinambal and Khushalsar water lagoons.

In the 15th century, when Sultan Zain ul Abidin (commonly known as Bud Shah) was building the Nallah Mar Canal as a main artery of communication between the old city in Srinagar and the villages near Dal Lake, was he ahead of his time in understanding and sensitively promoting the natural linkages of water bodies?


I. Answer briefly:

1. How and why were the city planners of Srinagar Development Authority caught unprepared by the unprecedented disaster that struck it recently?


The city planners of Srinagar were caught unaware by the unprecedented floods in September 2014. They were not foresighted and were driven only by the history of disasters in the past rather than their future possibilities.

2. Name some of the causes that led to such a sorry state of affairs in Srinagar.


Srinagar continued expanding without showing any mercy to its water bodies and natural habitat. Encroachments, unplanned constructions and unauthorised colonies only worsened the situation and destroyed the hydrology of the region.

3. How have rapid urbanisation and growth affected the natural hydrology of the region?


Srinagar continued expanding without showing any mercy to its water bodies and natural habitat. Encroachments, unplanned constructions and unauthorised colonies only worsened the situation and destroyed the hydrology of the region.

4. How was Sultan Zain ul Abidin ahead of his time?


Sultan Zain ul Abidin built the Nallah Mar Canal as the main artery of communication between the city of Srinagar and the villages near Dal Lake. He understood the sensitivity of promoting the linkages of water bodies and so was far ahead of his time.

II. Vocabulary:

1. Raised banks of a river are called:
(a) bunds
(b) dams
(c) embankments
(d) banks


(c) embankments

2. The word related to the ‘earth’ in the passage means:
(a) earthly
(b) worldly
(c) geological
(d) geology


(c) geological

3. Synonym for the word ‘hub’ in the passage is:
(a) artery
(b) centre
(c) main
(d) central


(a) artery

4. Choose the most appropriate word for ‘natural water bodies and water’ in the passage is:
(a) water
(b) hydrology
(c) precipitation
(d) none of these


(b) hydrology