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  #1  
Old Sunday, January 01, 2023
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Post Please Evaluate my Past CSS Comprehensions

1981

Critically examine the following passage:
Some societies have experimented with eliminating the middleman. Prices can certainly be controlled better if the government acts as the middleman, because, after all, goods have to be lifted and transported to the other parts of the country. But governments are not usually very efficient or quick in these matters. Nor are they economical — a lot of file-and-paperwork involving a lot of people adds up to a lot of indirect expense. Although in theory it ought to be possible to reduce prices by eliminating the middleman, in practice it seems to be an essential evil.
Business can be left to find its own level in accordance with the so-called ‘laws’ of supply and demand. By and large, Pakistan is what is called a ‘sellers’ market because essential goods are usually in short supply or are inclined to fall below the needs of an overgrowing population. Market manipulation in such a situation is easy and unfortunately fairly common. Goods usually disappear at about the time they are needed most, leading to price spirals and malpractices. Price control under such circumstances becomes a little unrealistic unless a huge department can be set up with vigilance terms and inspectors empowered to raid shops and warehouses. The efforts to control a seller’s market is so great and the costs so high that in fact not a great deal of ôontrol can be exercised. And alternative method is to encourage the growth of buyer’s market in which the customer has a choice between many competing products. Competition automatically-forces good quality and low prices on the goods. This is at present only possible in the high production areas of the world. But competition leads to malpractices of a different kind. Survival for a business often depends upon the destruction of competing business and big companies have a natural advantage over small ones. An obsessive drive to ‘sell’ is generated in such a system. Huge sums are spent on advertising, the costs of which are transferred to the buyer. People are tricked and badgered into buying things they do not really need.

Answer:
The position of middleman is essential for some societies. It is a necessary evil because, without them, market manipulation and the monopolies of big companies would certainly be out of control. Admittedly, the government cannot act as a middleman owing to many restrictions, but it can certainly regulate the activities of middlemen by controlling the pricing of commodities to a limited extent.
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Old Sunday, January 01, 2023
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Post 1982 Comprehension

Critically examine the following passage:
After a situation has been carefully analysed and the possible outcomes have been evaluated as accurately as possible, a decision can be made. This decision may include the alternative of not making a decision on the alternatives presented. After all the data that can be brought to bear on a situation has been considered, some areas of uncertainty may be expected to remain. If a decision is to be made, these areas of uncertainty must be bridged by the consideration and evaluation of intangibles. Some call the type of evaluation involved in the consideration of intangibles, intuition, others call it hunch on judgement, whatever it be called, it is inescapable tat this type of thinking must always be the final part in arriving at a decision about the future. There is no other way if action is to be taken. There appears to be a marked difference in people’s abilities to come to sound conclusions, when some facts relative to a situation are missing, those who possess sound judgement, are richly rewarded. But as effective as as intuition, hunch on judgement may some times be, this type of thinking should be reserved for those areas where facts on which to base a decision, are missing.

1. How is it possible to come to a sound decision when facts are missing?
There are some areas of uncertainty when facts are missing. These uncertainties needed to be overcome. These intangibles (the missing data) need to be considered and assessed. This sort of consideration must be the last step in taking a decision. A sound decision, when facts are missing, must be based on intuition or a hunch.

2. What part, in your opinion, does decision making play in the efficient functioning of an organization?
Decision-making is the most efficient and important part of any organization. After thoroughly examining the data or information, one can make a pragmatic decision about the future policies, programmes, and projects of an organization. When some data is missing, it is necessary to overcome these uncertainties by making a decision based on a hunch and intuition. The future of any organization depends on efficient decision-making after weighing all the future pros and cons of a decision.
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Old Monday, January 02, 2023
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Post 1983 Comprehension

Read the following passage carefully and answer the Questions that follow in your own words:
“The third great defect of our civilization is that it does not know what to do with its knowledge. Science has given us powers fit for the gods, yet we use them like small children. For example, we do not know how to manage our machines. Machines were made to be man’s servants, yet he has grown so dependent on them that they are in a fair way to become his masters. Already most men spend most of their lives looking after and waiting upon machines. And the machines are very stern masters. They must be fed with coal, and given petrol to drink, and oil to wash with and they must be kept at the right temperature. And if they do not get their meals when they expect them, they grow sulky and refuse to work, or burst with rage, and blow up and spread ruin and destruction all round them. So we have to wait upon them very attentively and do all that we can to keep them in a good temper. Already we find it difficult either to work or play without the machines, and a time may come when they will rule us altogether, just as we rule the animals. And this brings me to the point at which I asked “What do we do with all time which the machines have saved for us, and the new energy they have given us?” On the whole, it must be admitted, we do very little. For the most part we use our time and energy to make more and better machines, but more and better machines will only give us still more time and still more energy and what are we to do with them? The answer, I think, is that we should try to become more civilized. For the machines themselves, and the power which the machines have given us, are not civilization but aids to civilization. But you will remember that we agreed at the beginning that being civilized meant making and liking beautiful things, thinking freely, and living rightly and maintaining justice equally between man and man. Man has a better chance today to do these things than he ever had before, he has more time, more energy, less to fear and less to fight against. lf he will give his time and energy which his machines have won for him to making more beautiful things, to finding out more and more about the universe to removing the causes of quarrels between nations, to discovering how to prevent poverty, then I think our civilization would undoubtedly be the greatest, as it would be the most lasting that there has ever been.”

1. What is your concept of “Civilization”? Do you agree with the author’s views on the subject?
A civilization is any complex society characterized by the development of a state, social stratification, urbanization, and symbolic systems of communication beyond natural spoken language. I agree with the author's assertion that civilization entails the creation and fusion of lovely things. Some other characteristics of civilization include ensuring equality of justice between mankind and safeguarding one's freedom of thought and expression.

2. Science has given us powers fit for the gods. If it a curse or blessing?
Science has given us powers fit for the gods, but this has been a curse rather than a blessing because most men are stuck in a perpetual cycle of upgradation – improving the previous version of a machine. This spending of free time and energy by men to make more efficacious machines leaves them no time for themselves or their environment.

3. The use of machines has brought us more leisure and energy? Are we utilizing it to improve the quality of human life?
The use of machines has brought mankind more leisure and more energy, but mankind is not utilizing this ample time for the improvement of the quality of human life. Most men spend most of their free time and energy making more efficient machines, which will give him still more time for leisure and energy. Ironically, he does not get that free time because he is stuck creating a more efficient machine than the previous one, hence leaving no time for himself or for the improvement of the civilization and the quality of human life.

4. Instead of making machines our servants, the author says, they have become our masters. In what sense has this come about?
Machines were made to be man’s servants, but he has grown so dependent on them that they have become his master, as most men spend most of their lives looking after them, maintaining them regularly, and waiting upon them whenever necessary.
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Old Tuesday, January 03, 2023
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Post 1984 Comprehension

Read the following Passage carefully and answer the questions given at the end:
During the last few decades medicine has undoubtedly advanced by huge strides in consequence of innumerable discoveries and inventions. But have we actually become healthier as a result of this progress? Admittedly, tuberculosis or cholera is today a much rare cause of death in many countries. On the other hand, various other no less dangerous diseases have appeared, which we term “time diseases”. They include not only certain impairments of the heart and the circulatory system, of the skeletal structure and internal organs, but also an increased psychic instability, the addiction to all manner of drugs etc., and states of nervous shock and exhaustion. According to Bodamer, “Man’s hystorical and vain attempt to overtax and do violence to his nature in order to adjust it to the technical world leads to a dangerous threat to health.” In other words, our organs can no longer cope with the noise, the bustle and all the inevitable concomitants of our modern civilization. A man’s body is simply not a machine to be used as he thinks fit, and as long as he likes. It is something living, a part of the image of God in which we were created. That is why the body has a rhythm of its own, a rhythm that can make itself heard. The most deep-seated of all the diseases of our time is that man no longer takes God into account, that he has lost confidence in God’s dominion over the world, that he considers the visible as the ultimate, the only, reality. But man without God suffers from hi-s fate because he cannot accept it from the hand of God. He suffers from the world because he senses its disordered state without being able to put it right. He begins to suffer from his work -because it exhausts him without satisfying him. He begins to suffer from his fellowmen because they are not his neighbours, to whom God would have him turn, but because he less them get on his neighbours, to whom God would have him turn, but because he-lets them get on his nerves and make him ill. And he suffers from himself because he finds himself out of tune and dissatisfied with himself. It is only because our time is no longer centered in God that its structure is increasing becoming what critics of our civilization call “pathological” dominated by the fear of life as well as by the lust for life, ending in the splitting of personality.

1. How does the expression “time diseases” indicate that these various ailments have something fundamental in common? Explain
The expression "time diseases" indicates that these various ailments have something fundamental in common because they are all diseases that are specific to the current time period and are thought to be caused by the modern way of life.

2. Why does modern man suffer from his time? It is not because he has not adapted his body sufficiently to the demands of the machine? It is not rather because he has surrendered his soul to time and its powers?
Modern man suffers from his time because he has lost confidence in God's dominion over the world and has become centered in time rather than God. This has caused him to suffer from various ailments such as physical impairments, addiction, and mental instability. It is not because he has not adapted his body sufficiently to the demands of the machine, but rather because he has surrendered his soul to time and its powers.

3. What cure would you suggest to combat these ills?
One potential cure for these ills would be for modern man to refocus on God and turn to Him for guidance and healing. This may involve seeking spiritual guidance and engaging in practices such as prayer and meditation.

4. Explain the last sentence fully.
The last sentence states that the structure of our current time period is becoming "pathological" and is dominated by fear and lust for life, which is leading to the splitting of personality. This means that the way of life in our current time period is unhealthy and is causing individuals to experience a splitting or fragmentation of their sense of self. This may be due to the stress and pressure of modern life and the lack of focus on spiritual fulfillment.
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Old Tuesday, January 03, 2023
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Post 1985 Comprehension

Read the following passage carefully and answer questions given at the end:
Whoever starts a new diary does it, if he is wise, in secret, for if it is known to his friends that he keeps a punctual record of his doings and theirs, they will treat him with a reticence that may embarrass him. That is the first rule of diary keeping, but others, such as whether the diary should be regular, or irregular, are more disputable. It is, however, a fatal practice to attempt regularity in amount.., to aim, as some do, at filling a page or two a day. It is equally futile to strive for uniformity of style or, indeed for any style at all. The advantage of the diary form is that it exempts its users from all ordinary rules, you may spell as you like, abbreviate, or wander into side tracks as and when it pleases you. Above all, you need to preserve no sense of proportion or responsibility. A new hat may oust a new Parliament, a new actress who amused you may, without any complaints, sweep all the armies and potentates of Europe over your margin into nothingness and oblivion. Nobody’s feelings have to be considered, no sense of critical audience needs force gaiety from a mood of sadness or cast a shadow on the spirits of Puck. Why then does not everyone keep a diary if it is so full of the delights of freedom and omnipotence? Perhaps it is because we like to have an audience for what we say and grow a little tired of entertaining our great-great-grand-children. Some aver that all diarists are vain, but it would appear, on the contrary, if they keep their secret and let no pry into their locked drawer, that they have an irrefutable claim to modesty. it is possible, of course, that they may be puffing themselves up before the mirror of posterity, but that is such a remote and pardonable conceit — particularly, if we remember that posterity is far more likely to mock than to admire that nobody who turns over the blank pages of this year and wonders what other fingers will turn them someday need be ashamed of his diarist’s dream.

1. What are your own impressions about diary-keeping? Write a short paragraph of about 100 words.
Diary-keeping is one of the most interesting and creative hobbies. A person can create a world of his own imagination in his diary. The diarist has free reign over it. He is not bound by grammar, vocabulary, and punctuation. He does not need to be bounded by coherence. A diarist does not have to follow a certain sequence of events. He may praise his lover, or he may take vengeance on his enemies. He may write about his life experiences and pass on his wisdom to future generations. Most importantly, a diarist does not have to follow regularity to write something in his diary once a day; he may keep his own pace and write sporadically. It is a way for the writer to have complete freedom in their writing and to record their experiences as they see fit, without worrying about what others might think or how their words will be received.

2. State in your own words why the writer thinks that a diary should be kept in secret.
The writer thinks that a diary should be kept in secret because if it is known to the writer's friends that he is keeping a record of his own actions and those of his friends, the friends may treat the writer with reticence or reserve, which could be embarrassing. This suggests that the writer values his privacy and wants to avoid any potential awkwardness or discomfort that might arise if his diary was known to others.

3. Explain the Underlined portions.
Fatal practice
The phrase "fatal practice" refers to a harmful or detrimental habit or activity, in this case, the attempt to maintain regularity in the amount of writing in a diary.

Oblivion
The state of being completely forgotten or ignored.

Cast a shadow on the spirits
The phrase "cast a shadow on the spirits" means to negatively affect someone's mood or emotional state.

All diarists are vain
The phrase "all diarists are vain" means that all people who keep a diary are self-absorbed.

Posterity
Future generations or generations
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Post 1986 Comprehension

Read the following passage carefully and answer questions given at the end:
Biofeedback is a process that allows people with stress-related illnesses such as high blood pressure to monitor and improve their health by learning to relax. In biofeedback, devices that monitor skin temperature are attached to a patient’s arm, leg, or forehead. Then the person tries to relax: As he or she relaxes completely, the temperature of the area under the devices rises because more blood reaches the area. When a machine that is attached to the devices detects the rise in temperature a buzzer sounds, or the reading on a dial changes. As long as the patient is relaxed, the buzzer or dial gives encouragement. The next part of the biofeedback process is learning how to relax without the monitoring devices. The patient recalls how he or she or she felt when the buzzer or’ dial indicated relaxation and then tries to imitate that feeling without having to check the biofeedback machine. After succeeding in doing so, the patient tries to maintain the relaxed feeling throughout the day. Stress may cause as much as 75 percent of all illness, therefore, biofeedback promises to bean outstanding medical tool.

1. What is a biofeedback? Describe in your own way.
Biofeedback is a therapeutic technique that uses electronic devices to help individuals learn how to control their physiological responses, such as muscle tension and heart rate, in order to reduce stress-related illnesses.

2. Can learning to relax improve health? Explain your view-point.
Stress comes from anxiety. Anxiety originates from anywhere. People feel anxious for many reasons. However, most of the reasons are external to them, and they have no control over them. Thus, learning to relax cannot improve health until and unless the external factors that are causing stress are resolved.

3. Why is biofeedback considered to be an instrument with great potential for the treatment of stress-related illnesses?
Biofeedback enables patients to recall what a buzzer sound or dial indicator made them feel when they were relaxed. This concentration on relaxation and the remembrance of that feeling reduces stress levels in people. As stress is the cause of the majority of all illnesses, biofeedback promises to be a revolutionary medical tool that has great potential for the treatment of stress-related illnesses.
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Post 1987 Comprehension

Read the following passage carefully and answer questions given at the end:
There is a sense in which the aim of education must be the same in all societies. Two hundred years from now there will be no one alive in the world who is alive today. Yet the sum total of human skill and knowledge will probably not be less than it is today. It will almost certainly be greater. And that this is so due in large part to the educational process by which we pass on to one generation what has been learned and achieved by previous generations. The continuity and growth of society is obviously dependent in this way upon education, both formal and informal. If each generation had to learn for itself what had been learned by its predecessor, no sort of intellectual or social development would he possible and the present state of society would be little different from the society of the old stone age. But this basic aim of education is so general and so fundamental that it is hardly given conscious recognition as an educational purpose. It is rather to be classed as the most important social function of education and is a matter of interest to the sociologist rather than to the educational theorist, Education does this job in any society and the specific way in which it does it will vary from one society to another. When we speak in the ordinary way about the aims of education, we are interested rather in the specific goals set by the nature of society and the purposes of its members. The educational system of any society is a more or less elaborate social mechanism designed to bring about in the persons submitted to it certain skills and attitudes that are judged to be useful and desirable in the society.

1. How is the continuity and growth of society dependent upon education?
The continuity and growth of society is dependent upon education in that education is the process by which we pass on to one generation what has been learned and achieved by previous generations. This allows for the accumulation of knowledge and skills over time, which is necessary for intellectual and social development.

2. In what way the aims of education are related with a society and its members?
The writer states that aims of education are equivalent to the specific goals set by the nature of society and the purposes of its members. The educational system of any society is designed to bring about certain skills and attitudes that are judged to be useful and desirable in that society.

3. What importance does the writer give to the education system of a society?
The writer gives importance to the educational system of a society as a more or less elaborate social mechanism designed to bring about certain skills and attitudes that are judged to be useful and desirable in that society.
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Post 1988 Comprehension

Read the following passage and answer questions given at the end:
Another intellectual effect of almost all teaching, except the highest grade of university tuition, is that it encourages docility and the belief that definite answers are known on questions which are legitimate matters of debate. I remember an occasion when a number of us were discussing which was the best of Shakespeare’s plays. Most of us were concerned in advancing arguments for unconventional opinions but a clever young man, who, from the elementary schools, had lately risen to the university, informed us, as a fact of which we were unaccountably ignorant, that Hamlet is the best of Shakespeare’s plays. After this the subject was closed. Every clergyman in America knows why Rome fell: it was owing to the corruption of morals depicted by Juvenal and Petronius. The fact that morals became exemplary about two centuries before the fall of the Western Empire is unknown or ignored. English children are taught one view of the French Revolution, French children are taught another, neither is true, but in each case it would be highly imprudent to disagree with the teacher, and few feel any inclination to do so. Teachers ought to encourage intelligent disagreement on the part of their pupils, even urging them to read books having opinions opposed to those of the instructor. But this is seldom done, with the result that much education consists in the instilling of unfounded dogmas in place of spirit of inquiry. This results, not necessarily from any fault in the teacher, but from a curriculum which demands too much apparent knowledge, with a consequent need of haste and definiteness.

1. What is the main defect of teaching? Describe in your own words.
The main defect of teaching is that it encourages subservience and aver that there are already clear-cut answers to questions that certainly need to be debated. It fails to foster the spirit of inquiry and critical thinking among students by instilling unfounded dogmas in their minds.

2. What are the causes of the instilling of unfounded dogmas in the mind of students?
Teachers, not because of fault of their own, do not encourage students to read books, form their own opinions, and challenge those of teachers’. This happens because of the extensive curriculum, which takes too much of their time and attention.

3. Briefly describe the main points presented by the writer of this passage.
The writer of this passage asserts that teachers do not encourage students to ask questions and debate about any topic. Students’ opinions are not developed properly. The profession of teaching demands absolute subservience – no questions asked. It also subverts any debate on the topic. Though teachers are not entirely to blame, this is due to an extensive curriculum that demands far too much time and attention from both students and teachers. The writer also mentions how education in different countries is based on different dogmas and how it is imprudent to disagree with the teacher.
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Post 1989 Comprehension

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given at the end:
“Teaching more even than most other professions, has been transformed during the last hundred years from a small, highly skilled profession concerned with a minority of the population, to a large and important branch of the public service. The profession has a great and honourable tradition, extending from the dawn of history until recent times, but any teacher in the modem world who allows himself to be inspired by’ the ideals of his predecessors is likely to be made sharply aware that it is not his function to teach what he thinks, but to instill such beliefs and prejudices as are thought useful by his employers. In former days a teacher was expected to be a man of exceptional knowledge or wisdom, to whose words men would do well to attend. In antiquity, teachers were not an organized profession, and no control was exercised over what they taught. It is true that they were often punished afterwards for their subversive doctrines. Socrates was put to death and Plato is said to have been thrown into prison, but such incidents did not interfere with the spread of their doctrines. Any man who has the genuine impulse of the teacher will be more anxious to survive in his books than in the flesh. A feeling of intellectual independence is essential to the proper fulfillment of the teacher’s functions, since it is his business to instill what he can of knowledge and reasonableness into the process of forming public opinion. In our more highly organized world we face a new problem. Something called education is given to everybody, usually by the State the teacher has thus become, in the vast majority of cases, a civil servant obliged to carry out the behests of men who have not his learning, who have no experience of dealing with the young, and whose only attitude towards education is that of the propagandist.”

1. What change has occurred in the profession of teaching during the last hundred years?
Teaching profession has been transformed during the last hundred years from a small, highly skilled profession concerned with a minority of the population, to a large and important branch of the public service.

2. What do you consider to be the basic functions of a teacher?
The basic functions of a teacher are to instill beliefs and prejudices that are thought useful by the teacher's employers, to be a man of exceptional knowledge or wisdom, and to instill knowledge and reasonableness into the process of forming public opinion.

3. What handicaps does a modern teacher face as compared to the teachers in the olden days?
In the past, a teacher was thought to be a man of extraordinary insight or understanding, whose advice men would do well to heed. Teachers did not have a regulated profession in antiquity, and there was no oversight of the subjects they taught. Contrarily, in modern days, the teaching profession is being regulated by the state as it has become a sector of the public service. The teacher has become a civil servant who has to work with people who lack his knowledge, lack any experience working with children, and only have a propagandist’s perspective on education.
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Post 1990 Comprehension

Read the following passage carefully and answer questions given at the end as briefly as possible.
Mountbatten was taking his family to Simla to snatch a few days’ rest. He had brought with him a copy of the Draft Plan for the transfer of power (which he had sent to London for approval). Menon had come up and they were expecting Nehru for the weekend. Mountbatten was delighted that Edwina (his wife) and Jawaharlal had taken to each other so much. It could only help his work, and it seemed to do them both so much good. Nehru himself had been in fine form. Mieville and George Nicolis (Principal Secretary to the Viceroy and Deputy Personal secretary to the Viceroy respectively) had shown some - dismay at Viceroy’s openness with the Indian leader but Mountbatten chose to ignore them. Despite his continuing optimism for the Plan, Menon's contention that it would not be well received by the Congress had given him more than usual pause for thought. After dinner on Saturday night, he invited Nehru in the Viceregal Lodge for a nightcap. The Viceroy handed Nehru his drink, and then quite suddenly crossed the room to the safe and unlocked it, taking out the Draft Plan handed him the papers (giving free run his instinct whatever the result). Nehru took the Draft Plan eagerly and sat down with it. Immersing himself in it immediately. Mountbatten watched him... The Indian had stopped reading the Plan, and was riffling angrily through the final pages. His face was drawn and pale. Mountbatten was shaken. He had never seen Nehru so furious. Nehru made an effort to control himself.... ‘I will try to summarise my thoughts tonight and leave you a note of my objections. This much I can tell you now: Congress will never agree to plan of India’s fragmentation into a host of little states'. The following day, the Viceroy sat on the secluded rear terrace of Viceregal Lodge while V. P. Menon read over Nehru’s promise memorandum of objections. ‘Mr. Nehru only questions certain Section of the Plan, said Menon. ‘Yes — the key ones!’ snapped Mountbatten. ‘Look we have to redraft and resubmit immediately,- in the light of his comments. Can you do it?” ‘Very well, Your Excellency,’ said Menon. ‘..-... I want it (the fresh draft) by six o’clock this evening.’

1. How did Lord Mountbatten view the relationship between his wife, Lady Edwina and Jawaharalal Nehru?
Lord Mountbatten viewed the relationship between his wife, Lady Edwina and Jawaharalal Nehru as positive and helpful for his work.

2. How did the officers on the staff of Lord Mountbatten view his close relationship with Nehru and what was Mountbatten’s reaction to it?
Mieville and George Nicolis had some reservations on the genial relationship between Viceroy and Mountbatten, but their objections did not concern the Viceroy.

3. Why did Lord Mountbatten show the Draft Plan to Nehru?
Mountbatten presented the Draft Plan to Nehru – the leader of Indian Congress – because he wanted to have his opinion and reservations (if any).

4. Did Lord Mountbatten show the Draft Plan to Quaid-e-Azam? If not, what will the showing of secret Draft Plan to Nehru alone will be called?
It is not specified in the passage whether Lord Mountbatten showed the Draft Plan to Quaid-e-Azam. Showing the secret Draft Plan to Nehru alone could be seen as favoritism or bias.

5. What motivated the drawing up of a fresh Plan for transfer of power?
The reservations of Nehru on the Draft Plan, and his claim that Congress would never accept the vivisection of India into smaller states motivated Mountbatten in drawing up a fresh Plan for the transfer of power.

6. Within what time was the fresh plan prepared and by whom?
The fresh plan was prepared by V. P. Menon, on orders of Mountbatten, within the same day, by 6 o'clock in the evening.

7. Was the person who drew up the fresh plan, under orders of Mountbatten, a neutral and impartial person, not connected with any Indian community?
It is not specified in the passage whether the person who drew up the fresh plan was a neutral and impartial person not connected with any Indian community.
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