Logical Reasoning Set 5: Previous Year Question 2021

Logical Reasoning Set 5: COVID-19 infections are surging once again, surpassing 60,000 daily cases last week, a stark contrast to the less than 500 reported during the same period last year. Despite the availability of vaccines, the pandemic’s grip remains firm. However, unlike the previous year, there is no nationwide lockdown, reflecting a learned reluctance due to the severe economic consequences of last year’s stringent measures.

The impact of the economic downturn, which saw a 24 percent contraction in GDP during the April-June 2020 quarter, is unfolding in terms of lives and livelihoods. The Periodic Labour Force Surveys (PLFS) shed light on the extent of this loss, particularly during the strict lockdown period. Visuals of migrants trekking back to their villages are still vivid, highlighting the human toll. The latest PLFS report, covering the April-June 2020 quarter, reveals the first official estimates of the impact, showcasing the aftermath of the lockdown until mid-May.

The visuals of thousands of migrants walking back to their villages are still fresh in the mind. While many have returned to urban areas in the absence of jobs in rural areas, many did not. The PLFS, which captures the employment-unemployment situation in urban areas, provides some clues to what happened. The estimates from PLFS are broadly in line with estimates available from other privately conducted surveys, notably the unemployment surveys of the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). According to the PLFS April-June 2020 round, the urban unemployment rate for the population above the age of 15 was 20.8 per cent, which is close to the monthly average for the same quarter from CMIE at 19.9 per cent.

The CMIE data, however, does suggest a sharp decline in June compared to April and May. Similar to the CMIE data, the PLFS data also shows a sharp rise in the unemployment rate which more than doubled compared to the unemployment rate in the preceding quarter of January-March 2020 at 9.1 per cent and 8.8 per cent in the same quarter (April-June) of 2019. While one in five persons above the age of 15 was unemployed during April-June 2020, the unemployment rate among the 15-29-year-olds was 34.7 per cent – every third person in the 15-29 age group was unemployed during the same period.

These are staggering numbers, but not surprising. While the lockdown certainly contributed to the worsening of the employment situation, particularly in urban areas, the fact that the economy was already going through severe distress as far as jobs are concerned is no longer surprising. Between 2016-17 and 2019-20, growth decelerated to 4 per cent, less than half the 8.3 per cent rate in 2016-17. The fact that the economy has not been creating jobs predates the economic shocks of demonetisation and the hasty roll-out of GST. The PLFS data from earlier rounds have already shown the extent of the rise in unemployment compared to the employmentunemployment surveys of 2011-12.

The unemployment rates in urban areas for all categories increased by almost three times between 2011-12 and 2017-18. On an internationally comparable basis, the unemployment rate among the 15-24-year-olds in 2017-18 was 28.5 per cent, which makes the youth unemployment rate in India amongst the highest in the world, excluding small countries and conflict-ridden countries. Since then, it has only worsened or remained at that level.


What reasons does the author suggest as a possible explanation for the widespread unemployment crisis in India?

(A) The job situation, which was already tough, got even more difficult because of the nationwide lockdown imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people were already struggling to find employment, and the lockdown made the situation worse.

(B) The COVID-19 pandemic led to a decrease in economic activity due to the nationwide lockdown. Businesses were forced to shut down temporarily, and this had a significant impact on the overall economic landscape.

(C) The imposition of a nationwide lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a movement of workers from cities to rural areas. Many people, faced with job losses and economic uncertainty, sought refuge in rural areas in search of alternative livelihoods.

(D) The urban unemployment rate for individuals above the age of 15 experienced a sharp decline. This means that fewer people in urban areas, particularly those above 15 years old, were actively seeking employment during this period.


According to the author, what is current state of Indian economy?

(A) The economy is going through a tough time right now. Things have slowed down quite a bit.

(B) We’re currently feeling the effects of a significant economic downturn. It’s like dealing with the aftermath of a storm.

(C) Jobs are becoming harder to find in the cities, and the unemployment rates are soaring. It’s tough for everyone out there.

(D) Young people in India are facing unemployment at a level similar to what’s seen in small countries with conflicts. It’s a challenging situation for our youth.


Which statement is not directly supported by the information provided in the passage?

(A) The nationwide lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic led to the heartbreaking loss of lives and livelihoods.

(B) The imposition of a nationwide lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic is responsible for the decline in economic growth, affecting businesses and industries.

(C) The migration of members of the workforce from urban to rural areas is a key factor contributing to the rise in unemployment.

(D) The imposition of a nationwide lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a significant increase in unemployment as businesses struggled to operate under restrictions.


What evidence does the author provide to show that the drop in economic growth and the increase in unemployment happened before the COVID-19 pandemic, making their argument more convincing?

(A) In the tough times of April-June 2020, one out of every five individuals above 15 years old struggled with unemployment. Shockingly, for the 15-29 age group, the unemployment rate soared to 34.7%, indicating that nearly every third person in this age bracket faced joblessness during that challenging period.

(B) According to the data from the PLFS April-June 2020 round, the urban unemployment rate among those above 15 years old stood at 20.8%. Interestingly, this aligns closely with the monthly average of 19.9% for the same quarter reported by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE).

(C) The economic growth story between 2016-17 and 2019-20 took a hit, slowing down to a mere 4%. This marked a significant deceleration from the robust 8.3% growth rate experienced in 2016-17.

(D) The estimates provided by the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) harmonize well with data from other private surveys, notably those conducted by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), reinforcing the credibility of the findings.


According to the given passage, which of the following statements is correct?

(A) The number of people without jobs in cities across all categories nearly tripled in the past ten years.

(B) More people found employment in urban areas across all categories, with rates increasing by almost three times in the last decade.

(C) The percentage of people facing unemployment in urban areas across all categories rose by almost three points over the past decade.

(D) Employment opportunities in urban areas for all categories saw a nearly three percent increase over the preceding decade.


Read Also: Logical Reasoning Set 6: Previous Year Question

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