IAS Mains History Paper 2012

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Section –A

Q. 1. Identify the following places marked on the map supplied to you write short notes of about 40 words on each of them in your answer book. Locational hints for each of the places marked on the map are given below seriatim :


  1. A prehistoric site

  2. A chalcolithic site

  3. A religious centre

  4. A prehistoric site

  5. An art centre

  6. A prehistoric site

  7. An art centre

  8. A port

  9. A capital town

  10. A prehistoric site

  11. A post Mauryan town

  12. An art centre

  13. A prehistoric site

  14. A chalcolithic site

  15. A chalcolithic site

  16. A chalcolithic site

  17. A prehistoric site

  18. An art centre

  19. A chalcolithic site

  20. A chalcolithic site


  1. Evaluate the Significance of seals and sealings in the reconstruction of socio-economic and religious life of the Harappan people.

  1. Justify Pliny’s statement that Rome was being drained out of its gold by India during the first century of the Christian era.


  1. Discuss the extent, settlement pattern and subsistence economy of the megalithic cultures.

  1. Assess the educational system in early India and identify important educational institutions of the period.


  1. Examine the role of adhyaksa in the Mauryan administration.

  1. Analyse the vibrant cultural activities in peninsular India during 550-750 CE. Compare and contrast it with the situation in contemporary North India.

Section –B

Q.5 Write short notes in not more than 150 words on each of the following :

  1. Evaluate Rajtarangini as a source of history.

  2. Medieval Indiam towns were merely an extension of villages. Comment.

  3. Assess the contribution of the Acharyas in the development of the ideological basis of bhakti.

  4. Discuss the Caurapancashika and Jain styles of paintings. Can the Caurapancashika style truly be called the precursor of pothi format ?

  5. Give social background to the rise of the Maratha movement during the seventeenth century.


  1. What kind of changes were visualized by historians on Indian feudaliam ? Examine critically.

  1. Analyse the racial composition and the role of nobility under the successors of Iltutmish. How did it affect the contemporary politics ?


  1. Evaluate the role of nadu and nagaram in the growth of urbanization under the Cholas.

  1. How did the Mangol invasions affect the Delhi Sultanate and the north-western frontier policy of the Delhi Sultans ?


  1. State the structure of medieval village society in Northern India. What were the passive forms of resistance of the peasants in the medieval period ?

  1. How was the Afghan nobility responsible for the descline of the Afghan empires ? Discuss.


Section –A

(Modern India)

Q. 1. Critically examine the following statements in about 150 words each :


  1. “The current practice of categorization of ‘Early Modern India’ is based on a shift from the old imperialist periodization of ‘Muslim India’ ‘British India’ to the more secularist one of ‘Medieval India’ ‘Modern India’, which puts Indian history in a universalist chronological structure.”

  2. “Copared to their English counterpart, the French East India Company enjoyed little discretionary power and had to always look up to Paris for all major decisions. This partly explains the failure of the French in India.”

  3. “The peasant movement of the second half of the nineteenth century lacked a positive conception of an alternative society a conception which would unite the people in a common struggle on a wide regional and all-Inida plane and help develop long term political developments.”

  4. “Plantations and mines, jute mills, banking, insurance, shipping and export-import concerns in India were run through a system of interlocking managing agencies.”

  5. “Nehru’s policy of Non-Alignment came to symbolize the struggle of India and other newly independent nations to retain and strengthen their independence from colonialism.”


  1. “The forces of free trade and the British determination to create a political and administrative environment conducive to trade and investment had shaped the British policy towards India in the first half of the nineteenth century.”Elucidate.

  1. “The contact of the new Indian middle class with the West proved to be a catalyst. The social and religious movements launched by Rommohan or Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar have to be understood in this context.” Elaborate.


  1. “The railways, instead of serving as the catalyst of an industrial revolution as in Western Europe and the USA, acted in India as ‘the catalyst of complete colonization’.” Examine.

  1. “The Santhal hool began in July 1855. The core of the movement was economic, the basic cause of the uprising was agrarian discontent.” Elucidate.


  1. “Nehru favoured the policy of integrating the tribal people in Indian society, of making them an integral part of the India nation even while maintaining their distinct identity and culture.” Elaborate with special reference to Northeastern India.

  1. “The Chipko became famous as the first major environmental movement in post-colonial India and gave rise to the understanding that environmental issues are often women’s issues because they suffer most from its deterioration.” Exaplain.

Section –B

(World History)

Q.5. Critically examine the following statements in about 150 words each :

  1. “The despotic rulers of Europe were influenced by the philosophy of Enlightenment and began to follow a benevolent policy towards their subjects. ”

  2. “The American Revolution was essentially an economic and British mercantilism.”

  3. “The connection between the philosophers’ ideas and the outbreak of the French Revolution (1789) is somewhat remote and indirect.”

  4. “The process of industrialization in some other countries of Europe was different from that in England.”

  5. “With the Cold War over and the Soviet Union gone, the face of international diplomacy has undergone a metamorphosis.”


  1. “The impact of the French Revolution (1789) was initially confined to Europe, but that of the Russian Revolution (1917) was global.” Critically review.

  1. “Any single explanation for the outbreak of the First World War is likely to be too simple. An amalgam of factors intellectual, social, economic as well as political and diplomatic contributed to this horrifying conflict of monumental proportions.” Explain.


  1. How did Napoleon fuse the France of the ancient regime with the France of the post-revolutionary era ?

  1. Was German unification achieved more by ‘coal and iron’ than by ‘blood and iron’ ?


  1. “The announcement of the creation of the Peoples’ Republic of China on Octomber 1, 1949 by Mao Zedong ended the civil war between the Chinese Communist Part (CCP) and the Nationalist Party (KMT).” Elaborate.

  1. “The Arab nationalism had a peculiar character. It stood for national independence for separate Arab States as well as for the unity of all Arabs irrespective of their state boundaries.” Examine.

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