Wednesday, June 21st, 2017
The other day I was reading an editorial from a newspaper and at the end I realised I was not able to understand few of the difficult words also was unable to grasp the passage.
For beginners, to jump directly into the passage solving will not serve the purpose.
Will go step by step:
Back to the school days of precis writing.
Read several times for total understanding of the passage.
Here the purpose of reading is – Thorough understanding of the passage
Write summary: Start with easy small passages initially, say for the 1st week. Let’s take few examples.
“Teaching is the noblest of professions. A teacher has a sacred duty to perform. It is she on whom rests the responsibility of moulding the character of young children. Apart from developing their intellect, she can inculcate in them qualities of good citizenship, remaining neat and clean, talking decently and sitting properly. These virtues are not easy to be imbibed and over a period of time through regular supervision and practice these patterns are inculcated. Only she who himself leads a life of simplicity, purity and rigid discipline can successfully cultivate these habits in her pupils.”
Summary: Teaching is a highly reputed profession having strong moral principles.It plays a vital role in nurturement of a child’s holistic development.
-Read the passage slowly and thoroughly
-If one reading is not enough to understand, then read it once more
-While reading find out the theme of the passage
-Do further reading, may be sentence by sentence, to grasp the details of the passage and understanding every bit of it
– Now comes the process of selection that is retaining the essential ideas and eliminating the secondary ones
–The precis where keeping in mind reducing the original passage to its one third of its length, keeping the gist of it
-The main thoughts expressed in the passage, the ideas it contains, the opinions presented and the conclusion arrived at should figure in the rough draft. Trivial things like the names of people and places and dates should not figure in it.
Couple of words we find in the passage whose meaning is not known.
In this case, first try to understand the meaning from its context of usage in the passage and after completing the exercise see its meaning in the dictionary to find out whether the meaning has been understood correctly.
Example: Underworld Daud Ibrahim has many criminal records in India.He has a profound notorious reputation across the globe.
As explained in the above two points can be practiced will be beneficial in the below ways
-An overall idea of the passage, which helps to solve “Title of the passage”
-Writing and the thought flow will have the clarity
-Addition of new words to your dictionary
Switch to level-2 reading, mostly editorials from the leading news paper(like The Hindu, ET etc.) and do the exercise mentioned in Month-1.
By this time habit of reading, understanding, grasping and writing would have already built in as a daily routine of your life.
Purpose of Reading: To acquaint oneself with moderate level of passage, understanding it and answer the questions- Main theme of the passage, tone of the author and naming the title for the passage
-Form sentences from the Word Power by Norman Lewis book and keep note of the difficult words that you are coming across while reading an editorial
-Practice passages above medium difficulty level as many as five in a day and add one more question with the two mentioned above (1. Main theme/idea/Summary of the passage,2. Title of the passage, 3.Tone of the passage/ the author)
If we will see then we can find all the above three questions with respect to a passage are quite interrelated and are based on one thing and that is main idea of the passage.
Once we find out the central idea of the passage, then we can find out how the author feels about the idea in the way it has been described.
It might be positive, negative or neutral. Here another crux is to see through the words those are generally used to set the tone.
In the passage mentioned in the Month-1 practice, we can very well find that the author is very optimist about the teaching profession and the teachers.
Delve more into reading!
Apart from reading only editorials, now is the time to expand the horizon not only of genres but also of brain.
Start with the analytical reading. It should be extended to economic and political analysis in the newspaper. Reading of different genre books will broaden the thinking.
Lets take an example of a TOI editorial.
The recent most hyped political analysis that is “Modinomics rings hollow”.
The below is the analysis where the author throws a quite negative view point to the current government’s performance over two year period.
The current government believes that at 7.1% GDP, India continues to be the fastest growing economy in the world. Spurt in public investment has created jobs. FDI flows are evidence of investors’ confidence in the growth story of India. Reforms have led to ease of doing business.
The historic legislation, GST, will now be implemented from July 1. The Sensex has reached record levels. All this because Modi, as predicted by Nostradamus, will transform India.
Let us critically examine each of these claims.
-Demonetisation of RS 500 and Rs1000 currency on Nov 8 this year which was a bold attempt to eradicate black money from the society is bad move as most cash is either invested in real estate, gold or hoarded abroad. The undisclosed cash represents just 5% of the lot.
– Under current GST net, real estate is out of that. Here the shocking update is unaccounted cash will enter the banking system and will be withdrawn and reconverted unknowingly
-There is no clarity in the claim of 7.1% GDP growth as the latest Q4 GDP result shows a growth of 6.1%
– Bank NPAs currently stand at 11% of gross advance which is a major obstacle to lending
-Exports are in the declining trend for 19 consecutive months
– Modi believes in seducing foreign investors in digitising the economy, may be having a ignorant ear towards most of India earns less than Rs 10,000 a month and seldom accesses digital platforms for bank transactions.
-Unemployment is still wild even though public sector investment has created some jobs. Unless private sector investment is robust, the economy’s capacity to absorb the workforce will be substandard.
Now the remaining questions in Reading Comprehension are -Inference based question & -which of the options is the author likely to agree/disagree.
From the above analysis of the passage we will answer the above two questions.
It can be inferred from the analysis that Modi government has not done any remarkable improvement to the economy rather things have even worsened though there is progress in public sector investment towards job creation.
Did I ask myself while reading the current news and its analysis that what is the bigger picture?
When I see/ read that, let’s say for example-the consumer price inflation hit a new record low of 2.18 percent in May 2017 as food prices fell for the first time ever led by pulses and vegetables.
Have I tried to understand at the macro level?
“ Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel cut interest rates by a quarter point as forecasted by economists citing softening inflation outlook and retained growth forecast but said outlook is improving with good monsoon.
“The Committee expects that the strong improvement in sowing, along with supply management measures, will improve the food inflation outlook,” RBI said. “The sharp drop in inflation reflects a downward shift in the momentum of food inflation – which holds the key to future inflation outcomes.
The Reserve Bank of India kept the repo rate unchanged at 6.25% in line with the expectations, as the Monetary Policy Committee did not want to take a ‘premature’ action, choosing to wait how inflation behaves later this year. Experts had also said that there would be no change in the key policy interest rates though, as the central bank could adopt a wait and watch policy to see how inflation plays out when GST, the nation’s biggest tax reform, is implemented from 1 July.
The government, for sure, is rooting for a rate cut to boost falling GDP growth rate, down to 7.1 percent for the Financial Year 2016-17 from 8 percent in the previous fiscal year. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said earlier this week that based on available indicators such as low inflation, stable oil prices, and lagging growth and investments, the MPC(Monetary Policy Committee) should look to cut policy rates.”
Now how does that it helps:
From the above explanation, we can correlate that Govt’s reduced interest rate and policy rate are the factors which facilitated to a decreased inflation in farm products keeping positive hope towards the forecasted good monsoon.
Read even more!
Have I finished that book I had started to read this week?
Which primary magazine am I following to keep myself updated and acquainted on national and international news?
Books and magazines will certainly help in forming a solid reading habit and even a great all round exposure.
From Mar-17 issue of the Economist’s on Russia’s interference in US election “Never ending story” which states:
After a peculiar experience in which Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, met a source on the White House grounds, then rushed to brief Donald Trump about his supposedly explosive findings.It is not that Vladimir Putin stole the election. The claim that Russia’s rumour and it’s hacking Democratic emails have caused the result. The real fear is narrow and different. As James Comey, director of the FBI, told Mr Nunes’s committee on March 20th, it is that individuals in Mr Trump’s campaign may have co-ordinated with the Russians in what, according to America’s intelligence agencies, was a bid to help him win the presidency. That would be a scandal whatever impact the Russian antics had. Or it ought to be. Here the justification provided by Trump’s advisor is that their dealings with Russia president is to serve many interests of America, one example is fighting with Islamic state together. Here one thing can be conclude that Trump’s administration will be seen with a sceptic eye for manoeuvring.”
From the above passage we can smell the conspiracy in America’s Trump administration.
The readings like above will give us a first hand to not only understand the depth of international happening also it will help to connect the dots.
Practice, Practice and Practice!
Let this very habit be deeply imbibed into your blood by all means and in all aspects of reading. Again to repeat solving a minimum of four to five passages daily will definitely help in the long run to have a analytical, problem solving and reasoning mind.
Enjoy whatever you are doing, it may be reading, playing or whatever, is the vital essence to be master at it.