Bihar Board Class 12 English Unseen Passages for Comprehension

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Bihar Board Class 12 English Unseen Passages for Comprehension

Unseen Passage For Class 12 Bihar Board PASSAGE NO. 1

Today, India looks like it is on course to join the league of developed nations. It is beginning to establish a reputation not just as the technology nerve centre and back-office to the world but also as its production centre. India’s secularism and democracy serve as a role model for other developing countries. There is great pride in India that easily integrates with a global economy, yet maintains a unique cultural identity.

But what is breathtaking is India’s youth. For despite being an ancient civilization that traces itself to the very dawn of human habitation. India is among the youngest countries in the world. More than half the country is under 25 years of age and more than a third is under 15 years of age.

Brought up in the shadow of the rise of India’s service industry boom, this group feels it can be at least as good as if not better than anyone else in the world. This confidence has them demonstrating a great propensity to consume, throwing away ageing ideas of asceticism and thrift. Even those who do not have enough to consume today feel that they have the capability and opportunity to do so.

The economic activity created by this combination of a growing labour pool and rising consumer demand is enough to propel India to double¬digit economic growth for decades. One Just has to look at the impact that thee baby boomers in the US had over decades of economic activity, as measured by equity and housing prices. This opportunity also represents the greatest threat to India’s future. If the youth of India are not properly educated and if there are not enough jobs created. India will have forever lost its opportunity. There are danger signs in abundance. Fifty-three per cent of students in primary schools drop out, one-third of children in Class V cannot read, three-quarters of schools do not have a functioning toilet, female literacy is applied 45 per cent and 80 million children in the age group of 6-14 do not even attend school.

India’s IT and BPO industries are engines of job creation, but they still account for only 0.2 per cent of India’s employment. The country has no choice but to dramatically industrialize and inflate its domestic economy. According to a forecast by the Boston Consulting Group, more than half of India’s unemployed within the next decade could be its educated youth. We cannot allow that to happen. India is stuck in a quagmire of labour laws that hinder employment growth, particularly in the manufacturing sector. Inflexible labour laws inhibit entrepreneurship, so it is quite ironic that laws ostensibly designed to protect labour actually discourage employment.

Answer the following questions briefly :

  1. What makes the author think India is on the verge of joining the select band of developed nations? [3]
  2. Despite the fact that India is one of the oldest civilizations why does the author say it is young? [3]
  3. The author feels that if certain problems are not arrested, India would lose its opportunity. Why would India lose this opportunity? [3]
  4. What hinders employment growth? [3]


  1. India’s self establishment as an important nerve centre of technology and its emergence as a great production centre makes the author think that India is on the verge of joining the select band of developed nations.
  2. The author says that despite being one of the oldest civilizations India is young because more than half the country is under 25 years of age and more than a third is under 15 years of age.
  3. India would lose its opportunity if the youth of India do not get proper education and if jobs are not created for them.
  4. Complex labour laws hinder employment in the manufacturing sector and discourage business industry and employment.

Unseen Passage For Class 12 With Answers Bihar Board PASSAGE NO. 2

The therapeutic value and healing powers of plants were demonstrated to me when I was a boy of about ten. I had developed an acute persistent abdominal pain that did not respond readily to hospital medication. My mother had taken me to the city’s central hospital on several occasions, where different drugs were tried on me. In total desperation, she took me to Egya Mensa, a well-known herbalist in my home-town in the Western province of Ghana. This man was no stranger to the medical doctors at the hospital He had earned the reputation of offering excellent help when they were confronted with difficult cases where western medicine had failed to effect a cure.

After a brief interview, not very different from what goes on daily in the consulting offices of many general medical practitioners in the United States, he left us waiting in his consulting room while he went out to the field. He returned with several leaves and the bark of a tree and one of his attendants immediately prepared a decoration. I was given a glass of this preparation, it tasted extremely bitter, but within an hour or so I began to feel relieved. The rest of the decoration was put in two large bottles so that I could take doses periodically. Within about three days, the frequent abdominal pains stopped and I recall gaining a good appetite. I have appreciated the healing powers of medicinal plants ever since.

My experience may sound unusual to those who come from urban areas of the developed world, but for those in the less affluent nations, such experiences are a common occurrence. In fact, demographic studies by various national governments and intergovernmental organisations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicate that for 75 to 90 per cent of the rural populations of the world, the herbalist is the only person who handles their medical problems. In African culture, traditional medical practitioners are always considered to be influential spiritual leaders as well, using magic and religion along with medicines. Illness is handled with the individual’s hidden spiritual powers and with the application of plants that have been found especially to contain healing powers.

(a) On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer the following
(i) Why did the author’s mother take him to Egya Mensa? What did Egya Mensa do? [3]
(ii) What do the WHO demographic studies indicate? [3]
(iii) What is the status of traditional medical practitioners in African culture?
(b) Find words in the above passage which convey similar meaning as the following : [l+i+l=3]
(i) often repeated (para 1)
(ii) pertaining to changes concerning people (para 3)
(iii) rich (para 3)
(a) (i) The author’s mother took him to Egya Mensa because different modem drags had failed to cure his abdominal pain. Egya Mensa prepared decoration of several leaves and the bark of a tree. Only a glass of the decoration relieved him of the pain.
(ii) The WHO demographic studies indicate that 75 to 90 per cent of the rural population of the world depends totally on the herbalist for their medical problems.
(iii) In African culture, the status of traditional medical practitioner is very prestigious.
(i) persistent
(ii) demographic
(iii) affluent

Unseen Passage Class 12 Bihar Board PASSAGE NO. 3

Early automobiles were sometimes only ‘horseless carriages’ powered by gasoline or steam engines. Some of them were so noisy that cities often made laws forbidding their use because they frightened horses. Many countries helped to develop the automobile. The internal- combustion engine was invented in Austria, and France was an early leader in automobile manufacturing. But it was in the United States after 1900 that the automobile was improved most rapidly. As a large and growing country, the United States needed cars and trucks to provide transportation in places not served by trains. Two brilliant ideas made possible the mass production of automobiles. An American inventor named Eli Whitney thought of one of them, which is known as ‘standardization of parts’. In an effort to speed up production in his gun factory. Whitney decided that each part of a gun could be made by machines so that it would be exactly like all the others of its kind.

Another American, Henry Ford, developed the idea of the assembly line. Before Ford introduced the assembly line, each car was built by hand. Such a process was, of course, very slow. As a result, automobiles were so expensive that only rich people could afford them. Ford proposed a system in which each worker would have only a portion of the wheels. Another would place the wheels on the car. And still, another would insert the bolts that held the wheels to the car. Each worker needed to learn only one or two routine tasks.

But, the really important part of Ford’s idea was to bring the work to the worker. An automobile frame, which looks like a steel skeleton, was put on a moving platform. As the frame moved past the workers, each worker could attach a single part. When the car reached the end of the line, it was completely assembled. Oil, gasoline and water were added and the car was ready to be driven away. With the increased production made possible by the assembly line, automobiles became much cheaper and more and more people were able to afford them. Today, it can be said that wheels run America. The four rubber tyres of the automobile move America through work and play.

Even though the majority of Americans would find it hard to imagine what life could be without a car, some have begun to realize that the automobile is a mixed blessing. Traffic accidents are increasing steadily and large cities are plagued by traffic congestion. Worst of all, perhaps, is the air pollution caused by the internal-combustion engine. Every car engine bums hundreds of gallons of fuel each year and pumps hundreds of pounds of carbon monoxide and other gases into the air. These gases are one source of the smog that hangs over large cities. Some of these gases are poisonous and dangerous to health, especially for someone with a weak heart or a respiratory disease.

(a) On the basis of your reading, answer the following questions :
(i) How does the standardisation of parts help make mass production possible? [3]
(ii) How does the assembly line help make mass production possible? [3]
(iii) Why do some Americans call the automobile a mixed blessing? (Two points) [3]
(b) Complete the following with a word or phrase from the reading :
(i) Another idea, developed by Henry Ford was the [1]
(ii) With the increased production made possible by the assembly line, cars [1]
(c) Pick out the words from the passage which are similar in meaning to the following [1]
(i) a mixture of smoke and fo Upara 7)

(a) (i) Standardisation of parts helps mass production possible by allowing each part being made by machines so that it is exactly like the others of its kind.
(ii) Assembly line allows a worker to make only a portion and thereby helps mass production possible.
(iii) The Americans call the automobile a mixed blessing because on the one hand it runs America but on the other hand it causes accidents and air pollution.
(b) (i) the moving platform which brought the work to the worker.
(ii) became much cheaper.
(c) (i) smog

Comprehension For Class 12 Bihar Board PASSAGE NO. 4

Smoking is the major cause of mortality with bronchogenic carcinoma of the lungs and is one of the factors causing death due to malignancies of the larynx, oral cavity, oesophagus, bladder, kidney, pancreas, stomach and uterine cervix and coronary heart diseases. Nicotine is the major substance present in the smoke that causes physical dependence. The additives do produce damage to the body for example, ammonia can result in a 100-fold increase in the ability of nicotine to enter into the smoke. Levulinic acid, added to cigarettes to mask the harsh taste of the nicotine, can increase the binding of nicotine to brain receptors, which increases the ‘kick’ of nicotine.

Smoke from the burning end of a cigarette contains over 4000 chemicals and 40 carcinogens. It has long been known that tobacco smoke is carcinogenic or cancer-causing. The lungs of smokers collect an annual deposit of 1 to 1 Vi pounds of the gooey black material, Invisible gas phase of cigarette smoke contains nitrogen, oxygen and toxic gases like carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, acrolein, hydrogen cyanide and nitrogen oxides. These gases are poisonous and in many cases interfere with the body’s ability to transport oxygen.

Like many carcinogenic compounds, they can act as tumour promoters or tumour initiators by acting directly on the genetic make-up of cells of the body leading to the development of cancer. During smoking within the first 8-10 seconds, nicotine is absorbed through the lungs and quickly ‘moved’ into the bloodstream and circulated throughout the brain. Nicotine can also enter the bloodstream through the mucous membranes that line the mouth (if tobacco is chewed) or nose (if snuff is used) and even through the skin. Our brain is made of billions of nerve cells. They communicate with each other by chemical messengers called neurotransmitters.

Nicotine is one of the most powerful nerve poisons and binds stereo-selectively to nicotinic receptors located in the brain, autonomic ganglia, the medulla, neuro-muscular junctions. Located throughout the brain, they play a critical role in cognitive processes and memory? The nicotine molecule is shaped like a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine which is involved in many functions including muscle movement, breathing, heart-rate, learning and memory. Nicotine, because of

(i) Smoking is the major cause of mortality because it causes cancer in various parts of the body like the lungs, the mouth, the larynx, etc. It also causes the blockage of arteries resulting in heart diseases.
(ii) Nicotine in a cigarette makes the people addicted to it because it causes physical dependence.
(iii) Neurotransmitters are actually chemical messengers which help millions of nerve cells to communicate with one another.
(iv) Nicotine produces toxic effects by attaching itself to the acetylcholine sites of the brain.

Class 12 English Passage Bihar Board PASSAGE NO. 5

I stopped to let the car cool off and to study the map. I had expected to be near my objective by now, but everything still seemed alien to me. I was only five when my father had taken; me abroad, and that was eighteen years ago. When my mother had died after a tragic accident, he did not quickly recover from the shock of loneliness. Everything around him was full of her presence, continually reopening the wound. So he decided to emigrate. In the new country, he became absorbed in making a new life for the two of us so that he gradually ceased to grieve. He did not marry again and I was brought up without a woman’s care, but I lacked for nothing for he was both father and mother to me. He always meant to go back one day, but not to stay. His roots and mine had become too firmly embedded in the new land. But he wanted to see the old folk again and to visit my mother’s grave. He became mortally ill a few months before we had planned to go and when he knew that he was dying, he made me promise to go on my own.

I hired a car the day after landing and bought a comprehensive book of maps, which I found most helpful on the cross country journey, but which I did not think I should need on the last stage. It was not that I actually remembered anything at all. But my father had described over and over again what we should see every milestone, after leaving the nearest town, so that I was positive I should recognize it is familiar territory. Well, I had been wrong, for I was now lost.

(a) On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer the following questions:
(i) Why did the author’s father emigrate? [3]
(ii) Why did the author not feel the absence of his mother after her death? [3]
(iii) Why did the author’s father want to go back to his old village? [3]
(iv) Why had the author come back to the land of his birth? [3]
(a) (i) After the death of the author’s mother in an accident, the author’s father suffered from the shock of loneliness. Everything around him reminded him of her presence and memories. So he migrated.
(ii) The author did not feel the absence of his mother after her death because his father played the role of his mother also.
(iii) The author’s father wanted to go back to his old village because he wanted to see the old folk again and visit his wife’s grave.
(iv) The author came back to the land of his birth because he had promised his dying father to do so.

Comprehension Passage For Class 12 Bihar Board PASSAGE NO. 6

Years ago, when I was a young Assistant Professor at the Harvard Business School, I thought the role of business schools was to develop future managers who knew all about the various functions of business, to teach them how to define problems succinctly, analyse these problems and identify alternatives in a clear, logical fashion and finally, to teach them to make an intelligent decision. My thinking gradually became tempered by living and working outside the United States and by serving seven years as a college president. During my presidency of Babson College. I added several additional traits of skills that I felt a good manager must possess.

One must have the ability to express oneself in a clear articulate fashion. Good oral and written communication skills are absolutely essential if one is to be an effective manager. One must possess that intangible set of qualities called leadership skills. To be a good leader, one must understand and be sensitive to people and be able to inspire them towards the achievement of a common goal. Effective managers must be broadminded human beings who not only understand the world of business but also have a sense of the cultural, social, political, historical and (particularly today) the international aspects of life and society. This suggests that exposure to the liberal arts and humanities should be part of every manager’s education.

A good manager in today’s world must have the courage and a strong sense of integrity. He or she must know where to draw the line between the right and the wrong.

(a) On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer the following questions:
(i) What did the author think about the business schools in the
(v) How can the companies help their managers to be effective ? [12]
(b) Find words in the above passage which convey similar meaning as the following : [ 1 + 1 + 1 = 3]
(i) briefly and clearly (para 1)
(ii) modified (para 2)
(iii) that cannot be grasped (para 3)
(a) (i) In the beginning, the other thought that the role of business schools was to produce future managers who knew about various functions of business, to teach them to define and analyse problems and identify alternatives.
(ii) An efficient manager must have good oral and written communication skills, leadership skills and sense of judgement.
(iii) The author was an Assistant Professor at the Harvard Business School.
(b) (i) Succinctly
(ii) added
(iii) intangible

12th Class Unseen Passage In English Bihar Board PASSAGE NO. 7

Doing housework, taking care of children and carrying out assorted jobs for a husband are work just as much as is performing paid employment in an office or factory. Ignore this is to do a disservice to women in the labour force. The reality of housework that women’s work in the home is average 56 hours per week for the lull time homemaker and 26 hours per week for the employed wife/mother. Husbands and children barely increase their contribution to housework and child care when the wife/mother is in the labour force. As a result, the employed woman gives up most of her leisure carry out the responsibilities of family life.

We realize that it may sound strange to hear women’s activities in the home, called work. Since women, who do housework and take care of children receive no salary wages; homemaking is not considered ‘work’. Economists have finally helped us recognise the importance of women’s work in the family by estimating the monetary value of home-making. These estimates range from $4,705 (1968) through $8200 (1972) to over $13,000 per year in 1973 depending on whether the work of the home-maker is considered equivalent to an unskilled, skilled or a professional worker, respectively. For example, is child care comparable to babysitting at $ 0.75 per hour, to a nursery school aid at $ 3 per hour, or to the care of a child psychologist at $ 30 per hour?

Some people have proposed that the solution to the problems of the employed housewife would be simply to pay women for being housewives. Hence women with heavy family responsibilities would not have to enter the labour force in order to gain income for themselves and or their families. This is not a solution for many reasons wages provide income, but they do not remedy the isolating nature of the work itself nor the negative attitudes housewives themselves have towards housework (but not towards child care).

Wages for housework would reinforce occupational stereotyping by freezing women into their traditional roles. Unless women and men are paid equally in the labour form and there is no division of labour based on sex. women’s work in the home will have no value. Since it is not clear what constitutes housework, and we know that housework standards vary greatly, it would be difficult to know how to reward it. Pay for housework might place home-makers (mainly wives) in the difficult position of having their work assessed by their husbands, while in the case of single home-makers, it is not clear who would do the assessing.

Wages for housework, derived from spouse payments overlook the contribution women make to society by training children to be good citizens and assume that their work is only beneficial to their own families. Finally, payment for housework does not address itself to the basic reason why women with family responsibilities work; to increase family income over that which the employed husband father makes. Also, single women with family responsibilities work because they are the family breadwinners. On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer the following questions as briefly as possible :

(i) Why is an employed woman deprived of the joys of leisure? [3]
(ii) Why is home-making not considered at par with paid work? [3]
(iii) When will the women’s work in the home acquire recognition?
(iv) Why should the women working at home be not considered
equal to those working in offices or business centres? [3]
(i) An employed woman is deprived of the joys of leisure because she has to work outside and in her home. Her husband and children contribute little to the housework and the employed woman manages it is her leisure.
(ii) Home-making is not considered at par with paid work because it is not clear what constitutes housework and how it should be assessed and rewarded.
(iii) The women’s work in the home will acquire recognition only when women are paid equally in the labour force and are not discriminated on the basis of gender.
(iv) The women working at home are not considered equal to those working in offices or business centres because the latter are paid and serve as bread earners.

Unseen Passages For Class 12 Bihar Board PASSAGE NO. 8

In democratic countries, intelligence is still free to ask whatever question it chooses. This freedom, it is almost certain, will not survive another war. Educationist should, therefore, do all they can while there is yet time to build up in the minds of their charges, a habit of resistance to suggestion. If such resistance is not built up, the men and women of the next generation will be at the mercy of that skilful propagandist who contrives seize the instruments of information and persuasion., Resistance to suggestion can be built up in two ways. First, children can be taught to rely on their own internal resource and not to depend on incessant stimulation from without. This is doubly important. Reliance on external stimulation is bad for the character.

Moreover, such stimulation is the stuff with which propagandists bait their books, the jam in which dictators counsel their ideological pills. An individual who relies on external stimulation thereby exposes himself to the full force of whatever propaganda is being made in his neighbourhood. For a majority of people in the west, purposeless reading, purposeless listening to radios, purposeless looking at films have become an addiction, psychological equivalents alcoholism and morphinism. Things have come to such a pitch that there are many millions of men and women who suffer real distress if they are cut-off for a few days even a few hours from newspapers, radio and music or movie pictures. Like an addict to a drug, they have to indulge their vice not because their indulgence, gives them any real pleasure but because, unless they indulge they feel painful, subnormal and incomplete.

Even by intelligent people, it is now taken for granted that such psychological addictions are inevitable and even desirable, that there is nothing to be alarmed at in the fact that the majority of civilized men and women are now incapable of living on their own spiritual resources, but have become exactly dependent on incessant stimulation from without. How can children be taught to rely upon their own spiritual resources and resist the temptation to become reading addicts, hearing addicts, seeing addicts? First of all, they can be taught how to entertain themselves, by making things themselves, by playing musical instruments, by purposeful study, by scientific observation and by the practice of some art and so on. Based on your understanding of the passage answer the following questions:

(i) What does the author want educationists to do? [3]
(ii) Mention the two ways in which resistance to suggestion can be built up. [3]
(iii) What does the author mean by psychological addiction ? Give an example. [3]
(iv) How can children be saved from becoming reading, hearing or seeing addicts?
(i) The author wants educationist to develop a habit of resistance to suggestion so that young men and women do not become prey to skilful propagandists.
(ii) The resistance to suggestion can be built in the following two ways :
(a) Children should be taught to depend on their own internal resources and not on sudden stimulation from outside.
(b) They should be trained to analyse critically the various methods and devices of the propagandists.
(iii) ‘By psychological addiction’ the author means becoming totally dependent on quick outside stimulation and not depending on one’s own spiritual resources. For example, a person deprived of newspaper, radio, movies, music for a few days will feel subnormal and incomplete. He will behave like a drug addict.
(iv) Children can be saved from becoming reading, hearing or seeing addicts by being taught how to entertain themselves, make things themselves or do scientific observations.

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