The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has come out with the dismaying prediction that the southwest monsoon this year will be below normal. If this prognosis holds true, it may mar the prospects of redeeming the rabi crop output losses through bumper harvests in the later kharif season. India's farm sector has certainly acquired a degree of resilience when it comes to the monsoon - as reflected in the positive growth numbers in all the weak monsoon years since 2009. However, monsoon rainfall and its distribution still remain crucial.
This paragraph starts with the prediction of a poor monsoon and goes on to discuss the impact of this on India’s farm sector. The penultimate line states that monsoon rainfall and its distribution are still crucial. Crucial to whom, is the question. The paragraph discusses India’s farm sector so we are discussing how the monsoon is still crucial to the farm sector. Now let us consider the options given. Option A- This discusses the impact “they” have on supplies and prices of most farm commodities and rural demand for consumer goods. The penultimate line talks of monsoon rainfall and its distribution. “They” could refer to these two factors. Hence option A seems to be a good conclusion to the given paragraph. Option B- This discusses the effect of the poor monsoon and subsequent food inflation on RBI rate cuts. This statement introduces a new, related idea, i.e, the indirect impact of the monsoon on inflation and rate cuts. This cannot be the line that completes the given paragraph, which is discussing the monsoon and India’s farm sector. Option C- This talks of the accuracy of IMD’s forecasts. It looks like a possible contender to complete the paragraph, as the paragraph started with the prediction of a bad monsoon. However, this statement refers to the “first stage monsoon forecast”, while there is no indication in the given paragraph whether the forecast discussed is the first stage one or the second stage forecast. Furthermore, the paragraph has focused on the impact of a poor monsoon on the farm sector. The given statement does not continue that line of thought. Option D- This option talks of the climate change and the possibility of that affecting the Indian monsoon. This is a completely different idea and can hence be ruled out as the right choice. Option A is the correct answer. Correct Answer: Choice (a)
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