IAS Mains History 2020 Topic-wise Important Questions

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  1. Determine- the veracity of Megasthenes’ descriptions of Indian society and economy with the help of other contemporary evidences.

  2. Assess the pattern of settlement, economy social organization and religion of India during C 200 to 500 BC from archaeological evidences.

  3. Discuss the changing approaches to the study of early Indian history.

  4. “Reconstruction of Early Indian history is hardly possible without the help of inscriptions and coins.” Discuss.

  5. How do recent archaeological findings and Sangam literary texts enlighten us about the early state and society in South India?

  6. In what ways are the accounts of the Graeco Romans and the Chinese helpful in reconstructing the social history of India? How far is their information corroborated by other Contemporary sources?

  7. To what extent archaeological materials are useful in understanding the progress of Neolithic man in India?

Pre& Proto History, Megalithic Cultures

  1. Describe the distinguishing features of important archaeological cultures-of the Indian subcontinent datable between c. 2000 B.C. and c. 500 B.C.

  2. Ancient Indians had no taste for historiography; their scholars cared more for religious, spiritual and philosophical studies. Indian historiography is essentially an Islamic heritage ‚Comment upon this statement with special reference to the contemporary writers and their works which help us in the reconstruction of history of the early medieval period of Indian history.

  3. Discuss the extent, settlement patterns and subsistence economy of the megalithic cultures.

  4. In the absence of a written script chalcolithic pottery gives us fascinating insight into the culture and life styles of the people of those times. Comment critically.

Indus Valley Civilization

  1. Give an appraisal of town planning of the Indus cities and evaluate the various reasons for their decline.

  2. Discuss the trade, cultural contacts and the extents of the Indus Civilization within and outside India and describe in detail any one of the Indus sites within India.

  3. Was India civilized before the advent of the Aryans? State briefly the extent and striking features of the earlier civilization, if any.

  4. How do your account for the decline of the major cities of the Indus Valley Civilization?

IVC and VEDIC Comparison

  1. Examine the contribution of Vedic culture in the sphere of social institutions and religion. Was there any continuity between the Indus and the Vedic cultures in this respect?

  2. Compare the economic, social and religious life of the Indus Valley (Harappan) people with that of the early Vedic people and discuss the relative chronology of the Indus and the early Vedic cultures.

  3. Discuss briefly the development of religious ideas and rituals in the Vedic age. Do they show any parallelism with the religion of the Indus Civilization?

  4. The Indus civilization did not have an abrupt appearance.’ Discuss the statement. How does the Indus civilization stand, in view of its geographical expansion and chronology, in relations to the Vedic civilization?

  5. Analyses the differences and similarities between Indus Valley and Vedic Cultures

Rise of Magadha

  1. Trace the rise of Magadhan imperialism up to the times of the Nandas with particular reference to its policy towards the non-monarchical state. Discuss the factors that contributed to its success.

  2. Give an account of the republics in the pre-Maurya period. Discuss the factors which contributed to their decline.

  3. Social and economic conditions of North India during the Pre-Mauryan period (600-325 B.C.)

  4. Furnish a critical and comparative account of various schools of art in the Post-Mauryan period (c. 200 B.C. – c. 300 A.D.)

  5. Analyse the causes of the success of the Magadhan imperialism up to the reign of Ashoka the Great.


  1. Discuss the scientific and technological developments in ancient India.

  2. Trace the scientific and technological developments in India up to c. A.D. 750.

  3. Examine the proficiency of the ancient Indians in various crafts, science and mathematics.

  4. Bring out the regional variations in the early South Indian Temple’s architectural styles.

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