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Re: HOT Competition, 26 Aug/8AM: The health minister recently argued for [#permalink]
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The health minister recently argued for a policy of Prohibition to be implemented across the country. While making it clear that there were no plans for a nationwide implementation of this policy, he strongly opposed the growing culture of alcohol abuse amongst youngsters in the metropolises.. He pointed out that in metropolises like Bangalore and Chennai, this culture was the most rampant. According to According to a government survey, the average age of commencement of alcohol use in India has reduced from 28 years in 1990 to 19 years in 2008another survey, by a well-known NGO, in New Delhi, alcohol is available across the counter and does not require any license. Most importantly, according to the survey, youngsters as young as 15 could obtain alcohol from places like petrol pumps. From this data, the NGO concluded that alcoholism is becoming a major problem in India.

Which of the following, if true, significantly weakens the conclusion stated in the above passage?
prethinking: as this is weaken question we need that

from the NGO survey, its been concluded that alcholosim is not a major problemin india..

A. The agencies involved in the surveys have totally overlooked the problem of alcohol abuse prevalent in rural India, which is by some estimates far graver than the problem in the metropolises. ( this actually strengthens the conclusion, so from this we will say that alcholosm is a major problem in india. so this is wrong)

B. The members of the NGO and the government have not been able to reach a consensus regarding the surveys. ( ngo is concluding, so consesus is not an issue still alcoholism can be a major problem, so wrong)

C. The methods used to conduct the surveys are faulty in the sense that they concentrate on the percentage of people who consume alcohol, and not the duration of the addiction or any specific health effects of it.(even if they concentrate on the percentage of people who consume alchohol, this can become a major problem if the overall percentage who takes alchol as per the premise)

D. The surveys have concentrated on only a specific section of the country's populace, and drawn conclusions based on the preferences of a very select and insignificant income group in society. ( Bingo correct choice, now from sample bias, they have committed a generalisation error, so we cant conclude its a major problem in India, from small group sample. so correct choice, this weakens the conclusion)

E. The surveys have not received official sanction from the executive organ of the government.( sanction is not a a concern wrt to the alcoholism as a major concern in india,,,,,, still it can be.. so this is also wrong)

so ans is D

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Re: HOT Competition, 26 Aug/8AM: The health minister recently argued for [#permalink]
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The health minister recently argued for a policy of Prohibition to be implemented across the country. While making it clear that there were no plans for a nationwide implementation of this policy, he strongly opposed the growing culture of alcohol abuse amongst youngsters in the metropolises.. He pointed out that in metropolises like Bangalore and Chennai, this culture was the most rampant. According to According to a government survey, the average age of commencement of alcohol use in India has reduced from 28 years in 1990 to 19 years in 2008another survey, by a well-known NGO, in New Delhi, alcohol is available across the counter and does not require any license. Most importantly, according to the survey, youngsters as young as 15 could obtain alcohol from places like petrol pumps. From this data, the NGO concluded that alcoholism is becoming a major problem in India.

Which of the following, if true, significantly weakens the conclusion stated in the above passage?

Analysis: Report show that 1. Average age of alcohol commencement reduced. 2. Alcohol can be purchased without any licence. 3. Youth can get alcohol
From these author concludes that alcoholism is becomming a major problem.
We need to weaken this conclusion.
Several things may weaken the conclusion:
1. Those who drink alcohol are only a minor part of populations
2. Alcohol comsumption, although widespread, is done in super small quantities, for example, 1/365 milligram per day, resulting in 1 gram per year. Is is a major problem? I don't think so
3. Alcohol consumption, although widespread, is very rare (For example, all ppl in India drink alcohol, but do it only once per year)


A. The agencies involved in the surveys have totally overlooked the problem of alcohol abuse prevalent in rural India, which is by some estimates far graver than the problem in the metropolises.
This actually strenthen the conclusion. Out

B. The members of the NGO and the government have not been able to reach a consensus regarding the surveys.
We are not told which exactly consensus was to be reached - for example, how much money must be spend, or whether survey methodology complies to some standarts. Out.

C. The methods used to conduct the surveys are faulty in the sense that they concentrate on the percentage of people who consume alcohol, and not the duration of the addiction or any specific health effects of it.
Recall, the main conclusion is that alcoholims is becoming a MAJOR problem. Although duration and health effect are important part of a problem, it is more important to focus on spread. Without option D, I would choose this one as correct. But there is D, therefore C is out.

D. The surveys have concentrated on only a specific section of the country's populace, and drawn conclusions based on the preferences of a very select and insignificant income group in society.
Bingo, as per our analysis, if the group is insignificant we cannot conclude that alcoholism is a major problem. This one weakens the conclusion strongest between given options.

E. The surveys have not received official sanction from the executive organ of the government.
It doesn't matter as long as surveys' results are credible and important. Out

Answer is D

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Re: HOT Competition, 26 Aug/8AM: The health minister recently argued for [#permalink]
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Stimulus: The health minister laments an apparent growing problem of alcohol abuse and likely supports a prohibition on sales of alcohol. In support of this position, he cites a number of surveys. One survey is conducted in large cities such as Bangalore and Chennai. A second survey is conducted in another large city, New Delhi. A third survey is conducted among youth as young as 15 who buy alcohol from petrol pumps.

Considering the above statements, what point is likely to weaken the position for a prohibition? It is clear that all the surveys cited make references to particular types of cities (large cities), particular population group (youth as young as 15) and particular selling places (petrol pumps). Therefore, one major weakness is that the surveys are unrepresentative and therefore may not accurately reflect a nationwide problem of alcohol abuse.

Let's examine the choices.


A. The agencies involved in the surveys have totally overlooked the problem of alcohol abuse prevalent in rural India, which is by some estimates far graver than the problem in the metropolises.

We have no information about any possible problems in rural India. No surveys are presented and no conclusions can be drawn.


B. The members of the NGO and the government have not been able to reach a consensus regarding the surveys.

Whether the NGO and the government were able to reach a consensus on the surveys does not weaken the position. There may be disagreements about other aspects of the survey and the results of the survey could still be valid. Other surveys are presented too.


C. The methods used to conduct the surveys are faulty in the sense that they concentrate on the percentage of people who consume alcohol, and not the duration of the addiction or any specific health effects of it.

The purported alcohol problem does not relate to how long alcohol was consumed. The duration of alcohol addiction is not a concern cited in the stimulus.


D. The surveys have concentrated on only a specific section of the country's populace, and drawn conclusions based on the preferences of a very select and insignificant income group in society.

This choice correctly points out the major shortcoming as was identified earlier. The surveys are unrepresentative of the country's populace.


E. The surveys have not received official sanction from the executive organ of the government.

The results of the surveys would still be valid for the minister to cite and to advocate a position. Official sanction from the government may come later. There is no requirement for an official sanction for the position advocated to be valid.
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Re: HOT Competition, 26 Aug/8AM: The health minister recently argued for [#permalink]
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The health minister recently argued for a policy of Prohibition to be implemented across the country. While making it clear that there were no plans for a nationwide implementation of this policy, he strongly opposed the growing culture of alcohol abuse amongst youngsters in the metropolises.. He pointed out that in metropolises like Bangalore and Chennai, this culture was the most rampant. According to According to a government survey, the average age of commencement of alcohol use in India has reduced from 28 years in 1990 to 19 years in 2008another survey, by a well-known NGO, in New Delhi, alcohol is available across the counter and does not require any license. Most importantly, according to the survey, youngsters as young as 15 could obtain alcohol from places like petrol pumps. From this data, the NGO concluded that alcoholism is becoming a major problem in India.


Let's analyse the above passage...
1) The blue lines; The health minister talked about a policy of Prohibition and mentioned the growing culture of alcohol abuse amongst youngsters in the metropolises.
2) The purple lines; The health minister goes in details about this issue by providing some examples according to a government survey.

Leading to a conclusion that alcoholism is becoming a major problem in India.



Which of the following, if true, significantly weakens the conclusion stated in the above passage?

A. The agencies involved in the surveys have totally overlooked the problem of alcohol abuse prevalent in rural India, which is by some estimates far graver than the problem in the metropolises. --> INCORRECT. This choice actually supports the conclusion that alcoholism is becoming a major problem in India because there are not only many cases of alcohol abuse amongst youngsters in the metropolises but also some hidden cases in rural.

B. The members of the NGO and the government have not been able to reach a consensus regarding the surveys. --> IRRELEVANT. This choice has nothing to do with our conclusion.

C. The methods used to conduct the surveys are faulty in the sense that they concentrate on the percentage of people who consume alcohol, and not the duration of the addiction or any specific health effects of it. --> TEMPTING. If the health minister investigated more on the duration of the addiction or any specific health effects of it, he would find that the alcoholism may or may not the major problem in India depends on how serious effect it is, but I think this reason is still weak to undermine the conclusion. Let's keep it for now if we don't find the better one.

D. The surveys have concentrated on only a specific section of the country's populace, and drawn conclusions based on the preferences of a very select and insignificant income group in society. --> I like this choice more than C. This choice explain the missing link between the given premise and conclusion by explaining that the author wrongly concluded that alcoholism is becoming a major problem in India based on many drug uses from amongst youngsters in the metropolises.

E. The surveys have not received official sanction from the executive organ of the government. --> IRRELEVANT. The information about the surveys have or have not received official sanction is not weaken the conclusion.

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Re: HOT Competition, 26 Aug/8AM: The health minister recently argued for [#permalink]
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Re: HOT Competition, 26 Aug/8AM: The health minister recently argued for [#permalink]
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