41. Reading Skills Comprehension: VIP

By | July 29, 2020

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VIP

Read the passages given below and answer the questions that follow them:                             

  One of the cachets of being a VIP—apart from having a cavalcade of beacon-lit cars and a posse of security personnel following you about wherever you went, even if it was only to the local mandi to do your sabzi shopping—was to have a road named after you.

However, considering the generally deplorable condition of our thoroughfares, potholed and congested with vehicular and bovine traffic as they are, it was a moot point whether this was a mark of distinction or disgrace.

 Moreover, there was another problem in that while our supply of roads—whatever their condition might be—is limited, our supply of VIPs and VVIPs is seemingly limitless. In comparison with other countries, India has a super-abundance of such personages, an embarrassment of riches. For all that is a sceptred isle with a reigning monarch, Britain has only 84 officially designated VIPs. The US has 252, Russia 312 and China 435.

India reportedly has no less than 5,79,092 VIPs and counting. These include—take a deep breath – the President; the Vice-President; the PM; Governors; Speakers (Parliament and Assemblies); MPs; MLAs; MLCs; corporators; IAS, IPS, ICS, IRS officers; Taluk/Gram Panchayat Members; Party Leaders; the Chief Justice and Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts; Media Barons; and, last but far from least, the First Son-in-Law of the Nation, Robert Vadra.

 We’d run out of roads before we ran out of VIPs after which to name them. But now, thanks to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), a solution might be at hand, or rather, the brand.

 In a laudable initiative to raise extra revenue, the DMRC is auctioning the names of its stations. Under the scheme of ‘semi-naming rights’, six Metro stops in the NCR now bear the names of corporate houses, in a form of advertisement which appears to be on the right track in more ways than one.

Taking a tip from such companies, VIPs or would be VIPs who wish to broadcast to the general public that they have achieved a certain station in life, literally as well as metaphorically, might well railroad the DMRC to include them in this new name-game.

Similar schemes could be extended to other civic services as well in order to accommodate all our designated dignitaries. In a climate of increasing environment-consciousness in which politically correct preference is given to public transport rather than private, having a bus stop named after one might be deemed an accolade, though the line could be drawn at being nominally identified with taxi and autorickshaw stands.

 It would be advisable to also rule out lending one’s name to a lamppost. While such a roadside feature undoubtedly renders a very necessary public service, to use it to give oneself a figurative leg-up wouldn’t be a good idea as, in a literal way, passing street dogs use lampposts for precisely that very purpose.

Questions

I. Answer briefly:

1. Name the three cachets of being a VIP.

2. Compare the superabundance of VIPs in India with other countries.

3. What is the laudable initiative of the DMRC to raise extra revenue?

4. Why would it be advisable to rule out lending one’s name to a lamppost?

II. Choose the most appropriate meanings of the given words/phrases from the options provided:

1.benefit

(a) advantage                         (b) help                         (c) comfort                 (d) convenience

2. superabundance (para 2)

 (a) many                                (b) huge numbers       (c) enough                  (d) dominating

3. deplorable (para 2)

 (a) appalling                          (b) worse                      (c) welcome               (d) blame

4. accolade (para 6)

(a) honour                              (b) respect                    (c) glory                      (d) praise

Answers

I.1. A cavalcade of beacon-lit cars, a posse of security personnel and to have a road named after you are the three cachets of being a VIP.

2. In comparison with other countries, India has a superabundance of VIPs. Britain has only 84 VIPs, the US has 252, Russia 312 and China 435, India has no less than 5,79,092 VIPs.

3. The laudable initiative of the DMRC is auctioning the names of the stations to raise extra revenue.

4. It would not be advisable to lend one’s name to a lamppost. Let passing street dogs use lamp-posts for precisely that very purposes for which they use them.

II. 1. (a) advantage

2. (b) huge numbers

3. (a) appalling

4. (d) praise

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