Directions (Q. 1-10): In the following passage there are blanks, each of which has been numbered. These numbers are printed below the passage and against each, five words/phrases are suggested, one of which fits the blank appropriately. Find out the appropriate word/phrase in each case.

Asteroids are rocks and debris which are the leftovers of the construction of our solar system. Most are in a belt, which (1) between Mars and Jupiter. However, the gravitational influence of the giant planets, like Jupiter, or an impact by a comet can knock these large rocks out of their orbit, thus hurling them (2) the Earth. Many bodies have struck Earth in the (3), and a widely accepted theory blames the impact of an asteroid for the extinction of dinosaurs about 65 million years ago. The scale of such a disaster can be understood by the example of a relatively small-size asteroid strike in Siberia in early 20th century which (4) more than half a million acres of forest.

However, what relieves the common man of the (5) regarding asteroid impact is the fact that many scientific groups are dedicated towards tracking the asteroid paths and orbit all around the year. With advanced equipment and technology, they can predict any upcoming danger much in (6). According to them the chances of finding such an asteroid crossing Earth in this or the next five generations’ lifetime is only one in thousands. Even if such an asteroid is found out, there will be (7) of time to track it, measure its orbit precisely, and plan a system for (8) it from its orbit away from that of the Earth’s. There will be no great hurry, and no great panic. It would be a project for all the world’s nations to take part in. It could be a globally unifying event. Because it will be (9) long before it actually hits the Earth, it probably would take only a small measure such as chemical rockets, or perhaps an atomic explosion to divert it from a threatening path. Thus, in short, it can be said that though the impact would pose enormous risk to all living forms on Earth, the odds of it occurring within our lifetimes is very (10) and it is unnecessary to run around believing that the sky is falling.

1. a) rotates b) appears c) strikes d) encircles e) exists

2. a) past b) around c) towards d) against e) inside

3. a) future b) centuries c) earliest d) past e) history

4. a) extinct b) devastated c) wasted d) shrivelled e) fell

5. a) apprehension b) expectation c) distrust d) sufferings e) hesitation

6. a) sooner b) accuracy c) advance d) time e) distance

7. a) dearth b) loss c) most d) lack e) plenty

8. a) blocking b) deflecting c) avoiding d) destroying e) changing

9. a) perienced b) harmful c) perceived d) noticed e) devastating

10. a) low b) large c) narrow d) high e) few