Interpretação de Texto - PUC-RIO

Development, democracy, and village telephone

I was born in 1942 and raised in a poor village in one of the poorest areas of rural India, a place with kerosene lamps and no running water. In 1980, at 38, I was a U.S. citizen and a self-made telecommunications millionaire. By 1990, I was 47 yea rs old and nearing the end of nearly a decade back in India as leader of a controversial but largely successful effort to build an Indian information industry and begin the immense task of extending digital telecommunications to every corner of my native country, even to villages like the one where I was born.

That effort persists today at an increased pace, but it remains controversial. Some of the controversy has centered on me and my methods. Most of it focuses on the efficacy and logic of bringing information technology to people who are in global terms the poorest of the poor. Common sense and accepted thinking about economic development have long held it ridiculous to supply Third-World villages with modern technology. What subsistence farmers need is not high-tech science and complex systems, the argument goes, but basic literacy, disease resistant cereals and oilseeds, that is, all the "appropriate" technologies that the unsophisticated rural poor can use and understand.

For me, modern telecommunications and electronic information systems are appropriate technologies even in those regions of the world that still lack adequate water, food, and power. The reason is simply that modern telecommunications is an indispensable a id in meeting basic needs. Wouldn't a telephone help a poor community if a natural calamity, like fire or flood, happened?

Technology can eliminate cultural barriers, affect economic inequalities, even compensate for intellectual disparities. In short, high technology can put unequal human beings on an equal footing, and that makes it the most potent democratizing tool ever devised.

(extracted and reduced from an article by Sam Pitroda)

Vocabulário do texto:

vilarejo, aldeia
ser criado
regiões, territórios
running water
água corrente
quase, aproximadamente
controverso, polêmico
largely basicamente, em grande medida
successful bem sucedido, próspero
effort esforço, empenho 
build construir
 industry indústria 
 task tarefa, incumbência 
 every  todo 
corner  canto, região remota 
 country país 
today  hoje, época atual 
 increased aumentou 
pace  paço 
 remains  permanece
accepted  aceita 
 thinking pensamento 
 held considerou 
supply  suprimentos, mantimentos 
 farmers fazendeiros 
 disease doença  
 use usar 
 understand  entender, compreender  
lack   falta, escassez 
 power energia, poder 
calamity  calamidade 
fire  fogo 
 flood inundação, enchente  
 happened ocorreu, aconteceu 
barriers  barreiras 
 inequalities desigualdades 
disparities  disparidade 
in short  em resumo 
unequal  desigual 
 footing  posição, condição
potent   potente, poderosa 
 tool  instrumento, ferramenta 
devised    inventou, projetou, planejou

1. Read the text attentively. In each question, look for the item that best corresponds to the ideas expressed in the text and check the correct answer.

The writer’s life has

a) always been poor and difficult
b) gone from poverty into richness
c) never changed in any way
d) shown a very poor development
e) become a sad and dull one

Resposta correta: b

Resolução: O autor do texto informa que nasceu e cresceu em uma aldeia pobre da Índia, mas que aos 38 anos de idade, havia se tornado tanto um cidadão norte-americano como um milionário. A resposta, portanto, é a alternativa b: gone from poverty into riches (foi da pobreza à riqueza).

2. The writer’s project for telecommunications in his native country is controversial because

a) people there really hate the leader of the project
b) the leader wants to receive a great amount of money
c) the propositions in the project seem inappropriate
d) the project will only protect the poorest people
e) the villagers consider the project unsophisticated

Resposta correta: c

Resolução: O autor do texto informa que seu projeto é polêmico porque muitas pessoas acreditam que fazendeiros pobres necessitam não de tecnologia avançada, e sim, de tecnologia que pessoas simples podem utilizar e entender. A resposta correta é, portanto, a alternativa c: as propostas do projeto aparentam ser inadequadas.

3. From the writer’s viewpoint, telecommunications is

a) an ineffective tool for the the villagers' work
b) a superfluous economic tool for poor farmers
c) a disaster for democratic systems of government
d) a basic aid for socio-cultural and economic equality
e) a ridiculous element in the life of poor communities

Resposta correta: d

Resolução: O autor do texto afirma o seguinte: “The reason is simply that modern telecommunications is an indispensable aid in meeting basic needs”. (O motivo é que as telecomunicações modernas são um ajuda indispensável para atender necessidades básicas).

A resposta correta é, portanto, a alternativa d: uma forma de ajuda fundamental para a igualdade sociocultural e econômica.

4. The expression "at an increased pace" indicates that the project in India is now being carried out with

a) greater delay
b) weaker enthusiasm
c) fewer people involved
d) more rigorous control
e) greater speed

Resposta correta: e

Resolução: A palavra “increased” significa aumento ou acréscimo. “Pace” significa passo. Portanto, “at an increased pace” significa mais rapidamente, ou seja, greater speed (maior velocidade).