Mains History Paper 2014

IAS Mains History 2014

History Optional Paper 1: SECTION-A

Q1. Identify the following places marked on the map supplied to you and write a short note of about 30 words on each of them in your Question-cum” Booklet. Locational hints for each of the places marked on the map are given below. 2.5 x 20 =50 marks

  1. An ancient capital
  2. A Palaeolithic site
  3. A cultural centre
  4. An Ancient capital.
  5. A Palaeolithic site
  6. A historical site
  7. A Harappan site
  8. An ancient capital
  9. A political and cultural centre
  10. Megalithic site
  11. A Mesolithic site
  12. A Chalcolithic site
  13. A prehistonc site
  14. A political and cultural centre
  15. An ancient capital
  16. A lost port
  17. Rock-cave art centre
  18. An ancient capital
  19. A political and cultural center
  20. An ancient town


Q2. Answer the following

(a) “While using the accounts of foreign writers, historians must distinguish between statements based on hearsay and those grounded in perceptive observations.” Elaborate with examples. 15 marks

(b) “The Upanishadic principles embody the epitome of the Vedic thought.” Discuss. 15 marks

(c) Review critically the evolution of different schools of art in the Indian subcontinent between the second century BCE and the third century CE, and evaluate the socio-religious factors responsible for it. 20 marks

Q3. Answer the following

(a) In what ways can the Megalithic culture be considered a foundational phase of the history of peninsular India? 15 marks

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(b) Do you think the Harappan civilization had a diversity of subsistence base? 15 marks

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(c) Discuss different interpretations of historians about the nature of Asoka’s ‘Dhamma’. Did his principle of `Dhamma-vijaya’ render the Mauryan Empire militaristically weak? 20 marks

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Q4. Answer the following

(a) Buddha’s teachings to a large extent could be helpful in understanding and resolving the problems of today’s society. Analyse critically. 15 marks

(b) Discuss the provincial and district administrative units of the Gupta Empire with the designations and functions of the officers. 15 marks

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(c)What were the privileges granted to the donees in land-grant charters of early India? How far were these charters responsible for integration or disintegration socio-political milieu? 20 marks

History Optional Paper 1: SECTION-B

Q5. Answer the following questions in about 150 words each: (10×5 = 50 marks)

(a) Critically analyse the agricultural economy from 750 to 1200 CE.

(b) Evaluate the contribution of Vaishnava saints to the growth of medieval Bhakti literature.

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(c) Analyse the ordinances mentioned by Barani which Alauddin Khalji promulgated for market control.

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(d) Give a brief account of resistance offered by Ahom State against the Mughal rule.

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(e) How was cartaz system used by the Portuguese to maintain their control over the oceanic trade?

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Q6. Answer the following

(a) Evaluating various theories regarding the Chola State, throw light on its village assemblies. 15 marks

(b) Trace the technological and stylistic development in the architecture of the Sultanate period. 15 marks

(c) Analyse the Mughal monetary system and examine their policy of minting of coins. 20 marks

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Q7. Answer the following

(a) Evaluate the ‘Kitab al-Hind’ of Alberuni as a source of history of India.15 marks

(b) Evaluating the theory of kingship of the Sultanate, discuss the deviations seen in the reigns of different Sultans.20 marks

(c) “The Battle of Plassey that decided the fate of Bengal was won by Clive through intrigues.” Explain. 15 marks

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Q8. Answer the following

(a) To what extent is ‘Segmentary State’ model relevant for defining the Vijayanagar State? Critically examine. 20 marks

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(b) How was lqta system of the Sultans different from the Jagir system under the Mughals? 15 marks

(c) “India had been for hundreds of years the Lancashire of the Eastern world.” Critically examine this view. 15 marks

History Optional Paper 2: SECTION-A

Q1. Critically examine the following statements in about 150 words each: (10×5 = 50 marks)

(a) “Plassey did not complete the British conquest of India. Had the English been convincingly defeated in any subsequent battle in India, then (the battle of) Plassey would have remained as a minor episode in the history of India.”

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(b) “Montague-Chelmsford reform proposals introduced `dyarchy’, but blurred the lines of responsibility.”

(c) “The military, feudal and traditional overtones of the Revolt of 1857 were overshadowed by its nationalist or proto-nationalist character.”

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(d) “The ‘safety-valve thesis’ does not adequately explain the birth of the Indian National Congress in 1885.”

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(e) “M.K Gandhi made a gross mistake in championing the Khilafat cause, an extra-territorial issue which cut at the very roots of Indian nationality.”

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Q2. Answer the following

(a) “The Dual System of Government was a complete failure from the outset. In the first place, the abuse of the private trade reached a greater height than ever. In the second place, the demands of the Company for the increase led to gross oppression of the peasantry.” Examine. 20 marks

(b) “… instead of rejecting the plan (Cabinet Mission Plan), they (the Congress Leadership) resorted to a half-baked legalistic stratagem to reserve their position on its long-term arrangements and accepted its short-term provisions.” Critically examine. 20 marks

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(c) “Dalit Movements for empowerment in independent India have essentially been for carving out political space through electoral politics.” Discuss. 10 marks

Q3. Answer the following

(a) “Politics remained for the bulk of the Moderates very much a part-time affair. The Congress was not a political party, but an annual three-day show…” Elucidate. 20 marks

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(b) “The Anti-Partition Agitation (1909) had an economic character in Bengal unlike the Extremist Agitation in Maharashtra which had a religious character.” Examine. 20 marks

(c) “Sardar Patel accomplished a silent revolution by ensuring the absorption and assimilation of a multitude principalities without shedding even a drop of blood.” Elucidate. 10 marks

Q4. Answer the following

(a) “Though Sri Ramakrishna became the prophet of neo-Hinduism, he never claimed to have founded any new religion.” Elaborate.20 marks

(b) “Why did the British finally quit India on 15th August 1947 ? The Imperialist answer is that independence was simply the fulfilment of  British self-appointed mission to assist the Indian people to self-government.” Examine. 20 marks

(c) To what extent did the Freedom Movement in India influence the Liberation Movement in Africa? 10 marks

History Optional Paper 2: SECTION-B

Q5. Critically examine the following statements in about 150 words each:(10×5 = 50 marks)

(a) “Reusseau strove to reconcile the liberty of the individual and the  institution of Government through a new vision of the Contract-Theory of Government.”

(b) “The commercial and industrial interests created a veritable hothouse atmosphere in Europe for the establishment of colonies.”

(c) “Enlightened despots (Europe) were not necessarily politically liberal.”

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(d) “… the passing of the ‘Reform Act’ marked the real beginning of modern party organisation in England … In a real sense, the present political system of England dates from 1832.”

(e) “The Russo-Japanese War helped in the rise of Japan as a great power.”

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Q.6 Answer the following

(a) “American Revolution seems to have come with remarkable suddenness. A roster of talented leaders emerged during 1763 to 1775 to make it happen.” Elucidate. 20 marks

(b) If we, were to define our conception of the State, our answer would be that the State is the banker of the poor. The government would finance and supervise the purchase of productive equipments and the formation of workshops.” In light of the above statement of Louis Blanc, throw light on the Pre-Marxist Socialist Thought in Europe. 20 marks

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(c) To what extent did the expansion of European Powers in the late 19th century  help in the modernization of Africa? 10 marks

Q7. Answer the following

(a) “The Declaration of Rights was the death-warrant of the system of privilege, and so of the ancient regime … Yet in the history of ideas it belonged rather to the past than to the future.” Examine. 20 marks

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(b) Critically examine the socio-cultural and economic impact of migration in Europe and Asia in the 18th and 19th centuries. 20 marks

(c) Discuss the circumstances leading to the Suez Crisis of 1956 and examine its repercussions on global politics. 10 marks

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Q8. Answer the following

(a) “Europe was eclipsed through European folly due to the two world wars.” Elucidate. 20 marks

(b) “The language of narrow nationalism held at Frankfurt destroyed the German Revolution; as the fatal idea of aggrandisement of the House of Savoy destroyed the Italian Revolution.” Discuss. 20 marks

(c) Discuss the nature of American overseas expansion in Asia and explain the consequences. 10 marks


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