Letter writing –Answers to Stay-ahead-in-English 15

October 31, 2013 at 4:57 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Model letter writing

You have an account in Royal Bank of India, Bangalore. On one occasion, you find that a sum of Rs. 20,000 has been withdrawn from your account unauthorizedly.
Write a letter of complaint to the manager to inquire the matter and inform you who and how the amount could be fraudulently.
Also demand that the withdrawn amount be credited back to your account soon.
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Model letter (Address given is fictitious)

To
The Manager,
Royal Bank of India,
M.G Road Branch,

Bangalore ————–                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Date………..

Sub – Fraudulent withdrawal of money from my savings bank No …… ……… [This is important, and must be given.]

Dear Sir, 

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India’s anti-leprosy drive — Some successes in the midst of many failures

October 31, 2013 at 12:49 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Civil Service –General Studies — The Scourge of Leprosy in India

Leprosy has been the bane of India since pre-historic times. Because of its highly infectious nature and its very ugly manifestations on the affected persons body, leprosy patients are routinely ostracized in society. Families eject the affected member out of homes, wives are separated from their husbands and old invalid people are treated equally rudely. These patients are shunted to leprosy colonies away from the village so that they do not infect others.

Conditions in the leprosy colonies are appalling. Patients suffer the trauma of isolation, bad food, poor sanitation, and irregular treatment. The awareness that they would soon be too disfigured to regain acceptance again in the family breaks the sufferers, although, many recover after 6 to 12 months of sustained administration of drug. Those, who don’t, suffer through impaired mobility and utility for their society for good.

Leprosy is caused by the germ Mycobacterium leprae. The line of treatment is to kill this germ in the patient’s body by administering MDT (Multi-Drug Therapy). MDT is a combination of three pills that has to be given un-interruptedly for 6 to 12 months to able to kill the germs in the patient’s body.

Thanks to the effort of both government and non-governmental organizations, leprosy clinics now dot the length and breadth of the country. One such clinic is in a place called Anandwan in western Maharastra. This was set up by the Gandhian social activist Baba Amte, a lawyer-turned social worker who has won the Ramon Mgsaysay award. Anandwan has rehabilitated leprosy patients in thousands. Most of them have returned to mainstream society to lead normal lives.

Anandwan is, no doubt, a success story in India’s campaign to fight this age-old scourge of leprosy. It houses 17000 leprosy patents. These inmates do not languish by idling away their time. They do so many useful work in cottage industry facilities set up in Anandwan. The annual income from such gainful employment exceeds $4,00,000 equivalent to about Rs.2.5 crores. Since its founding in 1951, Anandwan has treated more than 9,00,000 leprosy patients.

In other leprosy centers, the scene is far from encouraging. The leprosy colonies are mismanaged. The inmates are stigmatized. They are tacitly encouraged to go begging to supplement their incomes. It exacerbates their plight and isolation. In some states, those afflicted by leprosy can not get driving licenses, can not travel on trains, and can not contest elections. Even fully cured patients are ostracized and confined to isolated settlements whose conditions are akin to slums. Married women are often driven out of their own homes, because their illness hinders their children’s marriage prospects and hinders the school admissions of their grand children.

The statistics regarding leprosy’s spread in India is un-reliable. As per the figures furnished by the government, 1, 35,000 fresh cases were reported in 2012. This amounts to about half of the world’s total. However, these estimates look too optimistic to be credible. If we accept these figures, it will show that in at least 12 Indian states children constitute only 10% of all new cases. This is medically implausible.

The under-reporting of the spread of leprosy leads to a very fraught situation. By 2005 India had taken pride in the fact that the battle against leprosy had been won. The health authorities reported that the country had fewer than one case of leprosy per 10,000 people. Later, they admit that such claim was a fallacy. Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Maharastra have reported a rebound of the disease.

The under-reporting of leprosy incidence took the government’s attention away from it to eradication of other diseases. Door-to-door visits in remote villages were discontinued as unnecessary; and leprosy-specific medical staff were reassigned to other duties. Villagers were asked to voluntarily report affliction by leprosy to rural centers. Understandably, they did not come forward leading to new cases of leprosy going un-reported. Added to this was the non-availability of MDT. The MDT medicines needed to cure it are supposed to be supplied free of cost and in adequate quantity. In recent times, their distribution has been disorderly and uneven.

Leprosy’s initial signs are often wrongly diagnosed as minor skin ailments by doctors. They do not prescribe the required medicines. As a result, the the disease gets more entrenched in the body of the patient, making its subsequent treatment very difficult and long-term. The danger lies here.

There is a gap in medical education here that has serious ramifications. Many medical colleges seldom stock infected skin smears that could enable students to recognize the disease. This leaves many doctors graduating without acquiring the expertise to spot and treat leprosy. When treatment gets delayed, the victims’ muscles atrophy.
Early detection of the disease is the key. Treatment through medication and / or surgery should also start simultaneously. Then only, quick recovery is possible. At the moment, however, the leprosy programme is enfeebled at each stage. Post-treatment follow-up is virtually non-existent.

Not all is gloom though. The government of Maharastra has done some commendable work to resurrect the anti-leprosy drive. In 2012 Maharashtra’s government increased per-patient monetary help to leprosy sanatoriums. In an intensive drive, thirty million Maharashtrians were surveyed for the disease. Some 2,000 cases were detected. In slums, people who have been successfully treated and made free of the disease, are being asked to look after the afflicted people. They render assistance in dressing the wounds, and ensuring that the patients take their medication regularly. In return, they are paid about Rs. 1000 a month.

In the draft for the national government’s twelfth five-year plan, the health ministry has proposed to set aside 7.9 billion rupees ($130m) in the quest to rid the scourge.
The long delay between the onset of leprosy and its first signs poses a major challenge in the eradication of the disease. In September 2013, there has been a path-breaking discovery in the diagnosis of leprosy. A team of Indian and German scientists led by Thirumalaisamy Velavan announced the discovery of genetic variations among Indian leprosy patients. It suggests that some families and communities are especially prone to the threat posed by the Mycobacterium leprae.

Using this knowledge, early tracking down of leprosy cases should be possible. Together, prudent spending and leveraging scientific advances should the anti-leprosy campaigners in India a much more potent tool.

In the midst of so much bad news, Anandwan offers hope and an example of community participation in the fight against leprosy. A group of cured patints work as helping hands in a local diary that supplies 850 litres of milk daily for consumption by the inmates. The nearby towns pay for the milk. It is a win-win formula for everyone. It gives the ex-sufferers the dignity of earning their livelihood; milk for the patients and assured workers for the diary. Most importantly, it demonstrates and ignites the altruistic instinct of the people in the leprosy-infested community.

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Civil Service General Studies — OPCW in Syria

October 30, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Syria, Chemical weapons, America and the OPCW

A fact sheet …

1. What chemical weapon Syria had and why are they being destroyed ….

Syria had stockpiled vast amounts of Sarin gas. It had also procured the chemical plant that could produce Sarin gas.

Sarin gas is an organophosphoric compound. It is deadly for the nerve system of humans. When inhaled, it incapacitates muscles of the body. The affected person loses control over his minor and major muscles. Convulsion of the body starts. The person urinates and defecates. After some time, he stops breathing as the muscles that enable the inhaling and exhaling operations become too numbed to do their work. The person chokes to death.

The storage, production and use of Sarin was internationally banned by the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993, in accordance with the Resolution 687 of the United Nations. Syria was a signatory to this ban, but had stockpiled it secretly.

Sarin is classified as a chemical weapon of mass destruction because of its capacity to cause large scale death in very short time.

As the ongoing insurgency against President Assad got intractable, his commanders began using this deadly banned gas (classified as Chemical Weapons of Mass destruction) against the rebels in various places in the country. The attacks resulted in unimaginable horror and suffering among the victims. Initially, Syria denied these attacks. Later, as international clamor against the attacks grew, and America and its European allies began imposing sanctions, Syria agreed to let in U.N inspectors to check the veracity of gas attack allegations by the rebels. Within weeks, the chief UN investigator who led the team, Ake Sellstrom of Sweden confirmed that Syria had indeed used this deadly chemical weapon in large areas such as Moadimayah district of West Ghouta and the Zamalka and Ein Tarma neighbourhoods of East Ghouta. The gas attack had led to the killing of nearly 1000 men, women and children.

After a lot of wrangling between Syria, its backer, Russia on one side and America and its allies on the other, Syria handed over a list of its chemical weapons facilities to the United Nation. The purpose was their earliest destruction under the supervision of the U.N.

2. Who did the job of destroying the Sarin gas storage and production facilities in Syria ……As per international law, it is Syria, the possessor of the banned arsenal which should do the job of destroying them. However, to quicken the pace of the job, bring in high expertise and assure the international community about total elimination of the facilities, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), based in The Netherlands was called in.

3. What is the present status of the destruction job ….

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons began its inspections on Oct. 2. It focused on 23 sites declared by Syria to be hubs of its chemicals weapon programme. Job in 21sites is over. Only two are left, mainly due to accessibility problems.

As on today, international inspectors have destroyed almost all the equipment used by Syria to prepare munitions for chemical warfare. The Syrian authorities cooperated with the elimination job. The job has been done in four weeks. It has dramatically reduced Syria’s ability to launch a large-scale attack. The international community is relieved to see that Syria can not repeat its August gas attack that had snuffed life out of nearly 1000 of its citizens.

4. OPCW got the Nobel Peace Prize this year in recognition of its work in Syria. In a way, it has been instrumental in pulling the world back from the edge of another Arab vs. West military confrontation.

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Civil Service -General Studies – Reining in the nuclear Iran

October 30, 2013 at 7:49 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Why is Iran still a big worry …..

The signs emanating from Teheran point to a softening of Iran’s nuclear stand. Has Iran finally decided to pull its shutters down on its bomb-making ambitions?
Hard-line Iran-watchers in the U.S. and in Israel say Iran’s gestures are nothing but a ruse. It will acquire its bomb, no matter how painful is the way to accomplish it.
Moderates say, Iran has decided to mend its ways, and once the inspectors go in, the international community will get a handle over the country’s nuclear infrastructure. After that running a covert enrichment and bomb assembling programme will be impossible.

Lying at the root of this confusion is the Arak IR-40 Heavy Water Reactor, now in the last stage of its construction. For non-technical readers, heavy water is water with one extra Neutron. It has to be 99.75% pure to be suitable for use.

Located in Arak, 300 kilometers south west of Teheran, it is designed to produce 40 megawatts of thermal power. It would use natural uranium oxide fuel, which will be produced at the Esfahan conversion and fuel fabrication facilities.

The Arak IR-40 plant was to start operations by the end of 2013. No one knows when it will start, although it is clear that the construction work is over.

When in full operation, the IR-40 can produce about 9 kilograms of plutonium per year. This is sufficient to make two numbers of plutonium-based bombs a year. But there is a technical hurdle here. The plutonium will have to be cleansed from the irradiated fuel before it can be used to make bomb.

It is unclear whether Iran has the technical capability to do this separation job. If not, Iran might buy it from North Korea on payment.

But, what is more worrying is the fact that the Arak plant can not be bombed. If it is bombed, it will spew out huge amounts of radiation to the atmosphere in the same way the ill-fated Chernobyl plant did in 1986. The collateral damage will be widespread and massive rendering large parts of Iran inhabitable for centuries. No justification by Israel and America, the possible raiders, would satisfy the international community. The foolhardy Iranians will play the victim then, trying to play down the fact that they brought the disaster onto themselves through their intransigency.

So, destroying Iran’s nuclear infrastructure through aerial bombing becomes a fraught and moot option.

Israel had carried out a successful raid on Syria’s Heavy Water Plant in 1981. But, this preemptive air strike was launched before, no after the plant was operational. Thus, there was no danger of radiation leak.

Thus, the Arak IR-40 Heavy Water plant must not be allowed to go on stream. The negotiations with Iran must be fast-tracked so that the Arak plant comes under un-fettered IAEA inspection at the earliest.

Through flexibility and astuteness, the western negotiators must pin the Iranian side down to extract commitment on verifiable inspection of its facilities and rid them of all bomb-making components.

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Answers to Stay-ahead-in-English 14

October 29, 2013 at 6:00 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Answers to …..
Stay-ahead-in-English 14 ….

 

1. Read the story written by Ruskin Bond.

a. Give it a nameAnswer ..  A small gift — A big change of heart.

b. Why did Deepak, a tramp, return to Arun? [In four or five sentences]

Answer …. Deepak, although a petty thief and vagrant, had a conscience that forbade him from stealing his benefactor. He still retained some of his childlike qualities. His desire to make it big among the men of letters was still burning strong. In Arun, he saw a kind and considerate person who could impart him the skills to read and write. So, he stepped back from running away with the stolen money.

c. What sort of person was Arun? [In four or five sentences]

Answer .. Arun was a compassionate, fair and considerate person. He treated Deepak well. Most importantly, he was quite willing to teach Deepak how to read and write.

d. Why did Deepak feel that Arun was aware of Deepak’s stealing of Rs.100 the night before?

Answer …… The five rupee note Arun gave to Deepak was wet. It was a telltale sign of it having been taken out in the night’s rain. This was the reason why Deepak concluded that Arun knew about the theft.
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2. Correct the following sentences.

a. The husband told his wife, “If it will make you happy, buy a refrigerator.”

Answer … The husband told his wife, “If it makes you happy, buy a refrigerator.”

b. If you see Margaret, tell her that I’d like to see her.

Answer … If you happen to see Margaret, tell her that I’d like to see her.

c. If I am in Manila in January, we must meet up.

Answer …. If I happen to be in Manila in January, we must meet up.

d. This Rasgoola is very delicious – if you like very sweet things.
Answer … If you happen to like very sweet things, this Rasgooa is very delicious.

e. If John will continue to improve like this, he should find a place in the national Olympic team.
Answer .. If John continues to improve like this, he should find a place in the national Olympic team.

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Stay-ahead-in-English 15 [Letter/notice writing]

October 29, 2013 at 2:29 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Stay-ahead-in-English 15 ….

Model letter writing to government offices, editors etc.

Some standard practices …

a. If you are not writing in your letterhead, identify yourself with complete address and mobile number at the left hand top.

b. Immediately below it, write the addressee’s name / designation and address correctly. Wrong spelling of name and wrong designation puts off the addressee and undermines your letter.

c. To the right, mention the city / town / village from which you are writing the letter. Under it, write the date.

d. Address the person as Sir / Madam. If you know him personally, you may write ‘Dear Sir / Madam’, and address him by their name.

e. In a one line describe broadly the subject matter.

f. There should be normally three paragraphs. First paragraph has to describe why you are writing the letter, the second paragraph should have the subject matter and the last one has to mention specifically what is your request or what you want the addressee to do.

g. The second paragraph has to be substantive, brief and fact-rich. Without it, your letter might be treated as a frivolous one, and may find its way to the waste paper basket.

h. While writing as a group such as a some residents of a locality, a group of students etc., identify yourself in the first sentence of your application as writing it at the left hand top may not be a good idea.

i. End the letter respectfully with your signature. If you are going to endorse copies of your letter to other addressees, write ‘cc’. If you are enclosing some documents, write ‘encl’ and give a list of the documents.

A few examples ..

1. Write a letter to a bank complaining about fraudulent withdrawal from your account.

2. Write a letter to the bank requesting a loan.

3. As a group of students, write a letter to your principal asking for certain facilities like games, books, drinking water etc.

4. As a group of villagers, write a letter to the Collector requesting some financial grant to start your village library.

5. Write a letter to the bank’s top management requesting for installation of an ATM in your locality.

6. As a group of residents, write a letter to the newspaper Editor asking for shifting of a slaughter house from your locality.

7. As the Sarpanch (village chief), write a letter to the District Forest Officer drawing his attention to the unauthorized felling of trees from the forest belonging to your village.

8. Write a letter to the Editor of the newspaper complaining against the discharge of effluents to the river by a large chemical factory.

9. As the Principal of your school, write a notice asking students not to eat mid-day tiffin from the vendors at the time of cholera epidemic.

10. As the Principal of your school, write a notice warning students against coming late to the school.

——————-Model letters will be posted in the coming three days.————————–
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Stay-ahead-in-English -14

October 28, 2013 at 4:35 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Stay-ahead-in-English 14 ….

1. Read the following story written by Ruskin Bond

a. Give it a name

b. Why did Deepak, a tramp, return to Arun? [In four or five sentences]

c. What sort of person was Arun? [In four or five sentences]

d. Why did Deepak feel that Arun was aware of Deepak’s stealing of Rs.100 the night before?
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Story ……

I WAS STILL A thief when I met Arun and though I was only fifteen I was an experienced and fairly successful hand.

Arun was watching the wrestlers when I approached him. He was about twenty, a tall, lean fellow, and he looked kind and simple enough for my purpose. I hadn’t had much luck of late and thought I might be able to get into this young person’s confidence. He seemed quite fascinated by the wrestling. Two well-oiled men slid about in the soft mud, grunting and slapping their thighs. When I drew Arun into conversation he didn’t seem to realize I was a stranger.

‘You look like a wrestler yourself, I said.

‘So do you,’ he replied, which put me out of my stride for a moment because at the time I was rather thin and bony and not very impressive physically.

‘Yes,’ I said. ‘I wrestle sometimes.’

‘What’s your name?’

‘Deepak,’ I lied.

Deepak was about my fifth name. I had earlier called myself Ranbir, Sudhir, Trilok and Surinder. After this preliminary exchange Arun confined himself to comments on the match, and I didn’t have much to say. After a while he walked away from the crowd of spectators. I followed him.

‘Hallo’ he said. ‘Enjoying yourself?’

I gave him my most appealing smile. ‘I want to work for you” I said.

He didn’t stop walking. ‘And what makes you think I want someone to work for me?’

‘Well”, I said, ‘I’ve been wandering about all day looking for the best person to work for. When I saw you I knew that no one else had a chance.’

‘You flatter me” he said.

‘That’s all right.’

‘But you can’t work for me.’

‘Why not?’
‘Because I can’t pay you.’

I thought that over for a minute. Perhaps I had misjudged my man.

‘Can you feed me?’ I asked.

‘Can you cook?’ he countered.

“I can cook” I lied.

‘If you can cook” he said, I will feed you.’

He took me to his room and told me I could sleep in the verandah. But I was nearly back on the street that night. The meal I cooked must have been pretty awful because Arun gave it to the neighbour’s cat and told me to be off. But I just hung around smiling in my most appealing way and then he couldn’t help laughing. He sat down on the bed and laughed for a full five minutes and later patted me on the head and said, never mind, he’d teach me to cook in the morning. Not only did he teach me to cook but he taught me to write my name and his and said he would soon teach me to write whole sentences and add money on paper when you didn’t have any in your pocket!
It was quite pleasant working for Arun. I made the tea in the morning and later went out shopping. I would take my time buying the day’s supplies and make a profit of about twenty-five paise a day. I would tell Arun that rice was fifty-six paise a pound (it generally was), but I would get it at fifty paise a pound. I think he knew I made a little this way but he didn’t mind. He wasn’t giving me a regular wage.

I was really grateful to Arun for teaching me to write. I knew that once I could write like an educated man there would be no limit to what I could achieve. It might even be an incentive to be honest.

Arun made money by fits and starts. He would be borrowing one week, lending the next. He would keep worrying about his next cheque but as soon as it arrived he would go out and celebrate lavishly.

One evening he came home with a wad of notes and at night I saw him tuck the bundles under his mattress at the head of the bed. I had been working for Arun for nearly a fortnight and, apart from the shopping hadn’t done much to exploit him. I had every opportunity for doing so. I had a key to the front door which meant I had access to the room whenever Arun was out. He was the most trusting person I had ever met. And that was why I couldn’t make up my mind to rob him. It’s easy to rob a greedy man because he deserves to be robbed. It’s easy to rob a rich man because he can afford to be robbed. But it’s difficult to rob a poor man, even one who really doesn’t care if he’s robbed. A rich man or a greedy man or a careful man wouldn’t keep his money under a pillow or mattress. He’d lock it up in a safe place. Arun had put his money where it would be child’s play for me to remove it without his knowledge.
It’s time I did some real work, I told myself. I’m getting out of practice …. If I don’t take the money, he’ll only waste it on his friends …. He doesn’t even pay me ….
Arun was asleep. Moonlight came in from the veranda and fell across the bed. I sat up on the floor, my blanket wrapped round me, considering the situation. There was quite a lot of money in that wad and if I took it I would have to leave town—I might make the 10.30 express to Amritsar ….

Slipping out of the blanket, I crept on all four through the door and up to the bed and peeped at Arun. He was sleeping peacefully with a soft and easy breathing. His face was clear and unlined. Even I had more markings on my face, though mine were mostly scars.

My hand took on an identity of its own as it slid around under the mattress,the fingers searching for the notes. They found them and I drew them out without a crackle.

Arun sighed in his sleep and turned on his side, towards me. My free hand was resting on the bed and his hair touched my fingers. I was frightened when his hair touched my fingers, and crawled quickly and quietly out of the room. When I was in the street I began to run. I ran down the bazaar road to the station. The shops were all closed but a few lights were on in the upper windows. I had the notes at my waist, held there by the string of my pyjamas. I felt I had to stop and count the notes though I knew it might make me late for the train. It was already 10.20 by the clock tower. I slowed down to a walk and my fingers flicked through the notes. There were about a hundred rupees in fives. A good haul. I could live like a prince for a month or two.
When I reached the station I did not stop at the ticket office (I had never bought a ticket in my life) but dashed straight onto the platform. The Amritsar Express was just moving out. It was moving slowly enough for me to be able to jump on the footboard of one of the carriages but I hesitated for some urgent, unexplainable reason.
I hesitated long enough for the train to leave without me.

When it had gone and the noise and busy confusion of the platform had subsided, I found myself standing alone on the deserted platform. The knowledge that I had a hundred stolen rupees in my pyjamas only increased my feeling of isolation and loneliness. I had no idea where to spend the night. I had never kept any friends because sometimes friends can be one’s undoing. I didn’t want to make myself conspicuous by staying at a hotel. And the only person I knew really well in town was the person I had robbed!

Leaving the station, I walked slowly through the bazaar keeping to dark, deserted alleys. I kept thinking of Arun. He would still be asleep, blissfully unaware of his loss.

I have made a study of men’s faces when they have lost something of material value. The greedy man shows panic, the rich man shows anger, the poor man shows fear. But I knew that neither panic nor anger nor fear would show on Arun’s face when he discovered the theft; only a terrible sadness not for the loss of the money but for my having betrayed his trust. I found myself on the maidan and sat down on a bench with my feet tucked up under my haunches. The night was a little cold and I regretted not having brought Arun’s blanket along. A light drizzle added to my discomfort. Soon it was raining heavily. My shirt and pyjamas stuck to my skin and a cold wind brought the rain whipping across my face. I told myself that sleeping on a bench was something I should have been used to by now but the veranda had softened me.
I walked back to the bazaar and sat down on the steps of a closed shop. A few vagrants lay beside me, rolled up tight in thin blankets. The clock showed midnight. I felt for the notes. They were still with me but had lost their crispness and were damp with rainwater. Arun’s money. In the morning he would probably have given me a rupee to go to the pictures but now I had it all. No more cooking his meals, running to the bazaar, or learning to write whole sentences. Whole sentences ….

They were something I had forgotten in the excitement of a hundred rupees. Whole sentences, I knew, could one day bring me more than a hundred rupees. It was a simple matter to steal (and sometimes just as simple to be caught) but to be a really big man, a wise and successful man, that was something. I should go back to Arun, I told myself, if only to learn how to write.

Perhaps it was also concern for Arun that drew me back. A sense of sympathy is one of my weaknesses, and through hesitation over a theft I had often been caught. A successful thief must be pitiless. I was fond of Arun. My affection for him, my sense of sympathy, but most of all my desire to write whole sentences, drew me back to the room.

I hurried back to the room extremely nervous, for it is easier to steal something than to return it undetected. If I was caught beside the bed now, with the money in my hand, or with my hand under the mattress, there could be only one explanation: that I was actually stealing. If Arun woke up I would be lost.

I opened the door clumsily and stood in the doorway in clouded moonlight. Gradually my eyes became accustomed to the darkness of the room. Arun was still asleep. I went on all fours again and crept noiselessly to the head of the bed. My hand came up with the notes. I felt his breath on my fingers. I was fascinated by his tranquil features and easy breathing and remained motionless for a minute. Then my hand explored the mattress, found the edge, slipped under it with the notes.

I awoke late next morning to find that Arun had already made the tea. I found it difficult to face him in the harsh light of day. His hand was stretched out towards me. There was a five-rupee note between his fingers. My heart sank. “I made some money yesterday” he said. ‘Now you’ll get paid regularly.’ My spirit rose as rapidly as it had fallen. I congratulated myself on having returned the money.

But when I took the note, I realized that he knew everything. The note was still wet from last night’s rain.

‘Today I’ll teach you to write a little more than your name” he said.
He knew but neither his lips nor his eyes said anything about their knowing.
I smiled at Arun in my most appealing way. And the smile came by itself, without my knowing it.
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2. Correct the following sentences.
a. The husband told his wife, “If it will make you happy, buy a refrigerator.”

b. If you see Margaret, tell her that I’d like to see her.

c. If I am in Manila in January, we must meet up.

d. This Rasgoola is very delicious – if you like very sweet things.

e. If John will continue to improve like this, he should find a place in the national Olympic team.

————————————-END——————-Results on October 30———————-

Civil Service -International relations -Iran-West talks

October 28, 2013 at 2:17 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Turning a new leaf in Iran-West relations

As a breath of fresh air in Iran-West relations, the first round of talks between the two sides has gone off rather well, when compared to the talks of the past during the tenure of ex-President Ahmadinezad. In the Iran-G6 talks, the western side (America, Russia, China, Germany, France and Britain) was led by the European Union Foreign Affairs chief Catherine Ashton and the Iranian side was represented by Foreign Minister Javad Zarif of Iran. Given the past history of animosity and suspicion, and the strident opposition by some vociferous Iranian groups to any softening of their country’s nuclear stand, the results of the talk were not so disheartening. The two sides agreed to sit again on November 7 and 8.

The U.S.-led sanctions have brought the Iranian economy down on its knees. Iranian oil exports (its main source of foreign exchange) are down by more than 40%, imports of essential items have been curtailed beyond tolerable limits, and the Iranian currency has gone into a free fall as a result of the crippling sanctions. Many countries like India, fearing U.S. reprisal, have reluctantly cut commercial relations with Iran. The faltering gas deal with Iran through overland pipeline is one such example. Iran has become a ‘no-go’ area for foreign investors.

The economic hardships to ordinary Iranians have been very frustrating indeed. Despite the bravado of the earlier president, many Iranians have begun to wonder if maintaining such adversarial relations with the West is really worth it to assert the country’s national pride over the nuclear issue. The new President Mr. Hassan Rouhani had fought his election highlighting his policy to bring back Iran to international mainstream through appropriate compromises on the nation’s nuclear policy. Even the hard-line spiritual head, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, appears to favour such a softening of stand.

So, it would not be unreasonable to expect that the stand-off between Iran and the West will soon be over. The specter of a massive Israel-led air strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities appears to be receding.

However, danger still remains. Strong Zionist influence continues to cast its long shadow over U.S. foreign policy. It makes American accommodation of Iran’s views difficult. This apart, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netenyahu has already poured cold water on the idea of Iran –West reconciliation by describing the new Iranian leadership as a ‘wolf in a sheep’s clothing’. Such pessimism is un-warranted if the world wants the acrimony to end for good.

The Gulf Arab states, always wary of Iran, want all Iranian nuclear ambitions nipped in the bud by all possible means. This is a veiled description of military air strikes. These countries are all U.S. allies. They understand how de-stabilizing an air-strike on Iran would be for the region, but support such punitive action if it can stop the Iranian bomb programme. These countries, through their ill-conceived foreign policy, impede any progress towards Iran-West reconciliation.

Iran has offered two very significant concessions. First, it will allow unrestricted and un-announced U.N inspections of its nuclear facilities. This should calm apprehensions about a clandestine Iranian programme to make bombs. Second, it would reduce the number of centrifuges significantly to limit the production of Uranium beyond 20% enrichment. This is a welcome step. Weapons grade Uranium needs enrichment beyond 99%.

The international community must support and aid the normalization process which is in nascent stage now. Having a strangulated and seething Iran in the sensitive geopolitical region is like a ticking time bomb. Diffusing it is the sane option.
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NCERT-CBSE-Class 9 – Pastoralists of the modern world (Consolidated text)

October 27, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments
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NCERT – Class 9 CBSE Social Science —

Pastoralists in the Modern World

Section 1

Who are pastoralists ….

These are people who make a living by rearing animals like sheep, cows, buffalo, camel etc. They need vast stretches of land to graze these animals. They milk the animals and earn their income by selling the milk, ghee and cheese.

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Answers to Stay-ahead-in-English 13

October 27, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Answers to ….
Stay-ahead-in-English 13

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1. Fill in the blanks with the right choice of words given at the end of each sentence as A,B,C and D.

a. ‘I suppose you’ve heard the latest ———-.
A — mews,’ said she
B —news.’ she said
C — news’, she said
D — news,’ she said

Answer .… ‘I suppose you’ve heard the latest news,’ she said. [D]

b. I notified ————I had changed my address.
A —- with the bank that
B —- the bank that
C —–that
D —– to the bank that
Answer … I notified the bank that I had changed my address. [B]

c. They directed that the building ————.
A ————be pulled down
B ———– to be pulled down
C———– should be pulled down
D ————is to be pulled down
Answer (THREE ANSWERS ARE POSSIBLE.] … They directed that the building be pulled down. [A]
They directed that the building should be pulled down. [C]

They directed that the building is to be pulled down. [D]

d. He asked me where he ———– put the box.
A ———– shall
B ——- ought to
C ———– will
D ——– should
Answer [Two answers are possible.] .. He asked me where he ought to put the box. [B]
He asked me where he should put the box. [D]

e. Ferdinand works as ——–
A ————- a scientist at a university
B ———— a scientist at university
C ————–a scientist at the university
D ————– scientist at a university
Answer [TWO ANSWERS ARE POSSIBLE.] … Ferdinand works as a scientist at a university. [A]
Ferdinand works as a scientist at the university. [D]
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2. The following sentences are jumbled. They are to be arranged sequentially and then joined into a single sentence.
a. The sound was loud.
It shattered the window pans.
It created panic.
Later, it was found to be a gas cylinder blast.
Answer … The loud sound that shattered the window pans creating panic was, later, found to be a gas cylinder blast.
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b. His wife was pregnant.
She was nervous.
The nurse assured that everything was normal.
Her husband took a month’s leave.
His mother chided her.
Answer .. The nervous pregnant lady’s mother chided her when the husband took a month’s leave despite the assurances by the nurse that everything was normal.
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d. The film had many weird ghosts.
He screamed.
He clung to his mother.
He hid his face with her handkerchief.
His mother chided him for being a coward.

Answer .. On seeing the film with weird ghosts, he screamed clinging to his mother and hiding his face with her handkerchief, and this made the mother chide him.

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[Comments / questions pertaining to the answers are welcome.]

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