1. Early Medieval India, 750-1200
(i)             Polity: Major political developments in Northern India and the Peninsula, origin and the rise of Rajputs

(ii)           The Cholas: administration, village economy and society

(iii)         Indian Feudalism; Agrarian economy and urban settlements; Trade and commerce

(iv)          Society: the status of the Brahman and the new social order; Condition of women

(v)           Indian science and technology

 

Polity: Major political developments in Northern India and the Peninsula, origin and the rise of Rajputs

Bring out the salient features of the polity & social structure of the Rajputs. To what extent were they responsible for the weakness of the Rajputs to the foreign invaders? 

OR

“The inferior cavalry of the Rajputs was not the only cause of their defeat at the hands of Turko-Afghans and Mughal.” Comment. 

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The Cholas: administration, village economy and society

Assess the importance of the Cholas in the history of South India. 

OR

Critically evaluate the achievements of the Cholas. 

OR

Critically assess the period of the Cholas in the history of South India.

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Were the Chola village assemblies democratic in nature? Give reasons for your answer. 

OR

Write a short essay on: “Local self-government under the Cholas.” 

OR

Describe the village administration of the Chola period as known from the Uttaramerur inscriptions. 

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The Cholas are said to have established a strong and well organized administration with an element of self-government at the local level. Do you agree? Give reasons. 

OR

What were the salient features of the bureaucratic machinery of the Cholas? 

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Show that the administrative system in India reached a very high level during the Chola period. 

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How far can the village assemblies or communities under the Cholas be really called democratic? 

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Assess the contribution of the Cholas in the expansion of Indian culture outside India. 

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

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Evaluating various theories regarding the Chola State, throw light on its village assemblies. 

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Indian Feudalism; Agrarian economy and urban settlements; Trade and commerce

Write a short essay on: “Applicability of the term ‘Indian Feudalism’ to early Medieval Society.” 

OR

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

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To what extent ‘monetary anaemia’ afflicted the erstwhile commercial economy during the early medieval period? 

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Society: the status of the Brahman and the new social order; Condition of women

Give an account of the society in Northern and Central India since the death of Harsha to the Muslim conquest of North India. 

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Write a short essay on: “Social structure of the Rajputs.” 

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2. Cultural Traditions in India, 750- 1200
(i)             Philosophy: Skankaracharya and Vedanta, Ramanuja and Vishishtadvaita, Madhva and Brahma Mimansa

(ii)           Religion: Forms and features of religion, Tamil devotional cult, growth of Bhakti, Islam and its arrival in India, Sufism

(iii)         Literature: Literature in Sanskrit, growth of Tamil literature, literature in the newly developing languages, Kalhan’s Rajtarangini, Alberuni’s India

(iv)          Art and Architecture: Temple architecture, sculpture, painting

Philosophy: Skankaracharya and Vedanta, Ramanuja and Vishishtadvaita, Madhva and Brahma Mimansa

How did Sankaracharya seek to integrate the different religions cults in India? 

OR

Write a short essay on: “Shankaracharya’s philosophy and its impact.” 

OR

“Sankaracharya brought about a synthesis of ideas and philosophies.” Discuss the statement and analyse the historical significance of his life and thought. 

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Write a short essay on: “The Vedanta of Sankaracharya” 

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Religion: Forms and features of religion, Tamil devotional cult, growth of Bhakti, Islam and its arrival in India, Sufism

Evaluate the impact of the Sufi and Bhakti Movements on vernacular languages and life and thought of the common people. 

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Write a short essay on: “Origin of the Bhakti Movement” 

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Write a short essay on: “The Sufi Movement and its role in promoting communal harmony” 

OR

Write a short essay on: “Sufi Movements”

OR

Write a short essay on: “Sufism in North India”  

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“The tenets of Hindu and Muslim mystics were similar enough that the ground was ripe for syncretic movements involving adherents of both religious.” Elucidate. 

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Assess the contribution of the Acharyas in the development of the ideological basis of Bhakti. 

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Bhakti and mysticism of Lal Ded emerged as a social force in Kashmir. Comment. 

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Literature: Literature in Sanskrit, growth of Tamil literature, literature in the newly developing languages, Kalhan’s Rajtarangini, Alberuni’s India

Discuss the salient features of Indian society on the eve of the campaigns of Mahmud of Ghazni, with particular reference to the observations made by Al-Biruni. 

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Write a short essay on: “AI- Biruni’s India” 

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Write a short essay on: “Alberuni on science in India” 

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

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Write a short essay on: “Kalhan as a historian”

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Assess Kalhana’s views on History. 

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Evaluate Rajtarangini as a source of history. 

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Art and Architecture: Temple architecture, sculpture, painting

Critically evaluate the contribution of Rashtrakutas to art and culture. 

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How far do you agree with the view that temples in early medieval period were catalysts in spreading education? 

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

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Give a brief account of the early medieval temple architecture of Kashmir. 

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Why is Mamallapuram famous? 

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3. The Thirteenth Century
(i) Establishment of the Delhi Sultanate: The Ghurian invasions – factors behind Ghurian success – Economic, social and cultural consequences

(ii) Foundation of Delhi Sultanate and early Turkish Sultans – Consolidation: The rule of Iltutmish and Balban

Comment on “Balban’s theory of kingship.” 

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Give an estimate of Ghiasuddin Balban. 

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Write a short essay on: “The ‘Corps of Forty’ and its relations with the Sultans.” 

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Assess the contribution of Iltutmish for the expansion and consolidation of the Delhi Sultanate. 

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Analyze the steps taken by Razia Sultan to strengthen her position as an independent ruler despite various obstacles. 

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What measures did Balban adopt to combat the Mongol menace? 

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4. The Fourteenth Century
(i)             “The Khalji Revolution” – Alauddin Khalji: Conquests and territorial expansion, agrarian and economic measures

(ii)           Muhammad Tughluq: Major projects, agrarian measures, bureaucracy of Muhammad Tughluq

(iii)         Firuz Tughluq: Agrarian measures, achievements in civil engineering and public works, decline of the Sultanate

(iv)          Foreign contacts and Ibn Battuta’s account

“The Khalji Revolution”- Alauddin Khalji: Conquests and territorial expansion, agrarian and economic measures

What were the aims of Alauddin Khalji behind his market regulations, and how far were they achieved? 

OR

Critically examine the price control measures of Alauddin Khilji. What was the main objective behind them and how for was he able to put them into effect? 

OR

Critically examine the economic regulations of Ala-ud-din Khalji. 

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Bring out the essential features of the administration of Ala-ud-din Khalji. 

OR

Examine the significance of Alauddin Khalji’s administrative reforms. Was he really successful in implementing these measures? 

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Assess the impact of the market reforms of Alauddin Khilji on contemporary economy and society. 

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Write a short essay on: “The Khalji Revolution” 

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

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Muhammad Tughluq: Major projects, agrarian measures, bureaucracy of Muhammad Tughluq

Write a short essay on: “Experiments of Muhammad Tughluq”. 

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Write a short essay on: “The Token Currency System introduced by Muhammad Tughluq.” 

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Write a short essay on: “Muhammad Tughluq as an agrarian innovator.” 

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Firuz Tughluq: Agrarian measures, achievements in civil engineering and public works, decline of the Sultanate

Examine the responsibility of Firuz Tughluq for the fall of his dynasty. 

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Why was Firuz Tughluq regarded as an ideal Muslim king of medieval times? 

OR

Form an estimate of the personality of Firoz Shah Tughlaq with special reference to his religious policy and public works.

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Foreign contacts and Ibn Battuta’s account

What is your assessment of Ibn Batutah’s Rehla as an important source of Indian history. 

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5. Society, Culture and Economy in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries
(i)             Society: composition of rural society, ruling classes, town dwellers, women, religious classes, caste and slavery under the Sultanate

(ii)           Culture: Persian literature, literature in the regional languages of North India, literature in the languages of South India, Sultanate architecture and new structural forms, painting, evolution of a composite culture

(iii)         Economy: Agricultural production, rise of urban economy and non-agricultural production, trade and commerce

 

Society

Analyse the social composition and the role of mobility under the successors of Iltutmish. How did it affect the contemporary politics? 

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Culture

Where, when and how did Urdu originate? 

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Write a short essay on: “Indo-Islamic architecture during the Khalji and Tughluq period.” 

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Write a short essay on: “Ziauddin Barani as a historian.” 

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Write a short essay on: “Amir Khusrau was an eminent poet not a historian.” 

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Critically evaluate the educational development during Sultanate period. 

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Trace the technological and stylistic development in the architecture of the Sultanate period. 

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Economy

Identify the main factors that sustained the expansion of urban economy in the Delhi Sultanate. 

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Examine the increasing importance of maritime trade of India during thirteenth to fifteenth centuries. 

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Throw light on the Land Revenue System of Sultanate period. 

OR

Discuss in brief the land-revenue system and judicial administration of the Delhi Sultanate. 

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6. The Fifteenth and Early Sixteenth Century
(i)             Political Developments and Economy: – Rise of Provincial Dynasties: Bengal, Kashmir (Zainul Abedin), Gujarat, Malwa, Bahmanids

(ii)           The Vijayanagra Empire

(iii)         Lodis

(iv)          Mughal Empire, First phase: Babur and Humayun

(v)           The Sur Empire: Sher Shah’s administration

(vi)          Portuguese Colonial enterprise

(vii)        Bhakti and Sufi

Political Developments and Economy: – Rise of Provincial Dynasties: Bengal, Kashmir (Zainul Abedin), Gujarat, Malwa, Bahmanids

Write a short essay on: “The Bahmani kingdom”

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Assess the Lekhapaddhati as an important source for evaluating the society and economy of the thirteenth century CE with special reference to Gujarat.

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Discuss the state  of  society  and  economy  of  the  Bahmani  kingdom  as  gleaned  from historical sources. 

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The Vijayanagra Empire

Give an account of the polity and society of Vijayanagara empire under Krishnadevaraya.  

OR

Mention the salient features of the polity of Vijayanagara Empire under Krishnadevaraya. 

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(Note: For society under Vijayanagara, see next question-answer)

Discuss the social dynamics in the Vijayanagara Empire. 

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On the basis  of  contemporary  sources  evaluate  the  system  of  agriculture  and irrigation of the Vijayanagar kingdom. 

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To what extent is ‘Segmentary State’ model relevant for defining the Vijayanagar State? Critically examine. 

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Mughal Empire, First phase: Babur and Humayun

Comment on the Turko-Mongol theory of sovereignty. To what extent was it adopted by Babur and Humayun? 

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The Sur Empire: Sher Shah’s administration

Examine the major contributions of the Sur rulers to the administrative system.

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Write a short essay on: “Sher Shah combined in himself qualities of lion and fox.”

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Portuguese Colonial enterprise

Write a short essay on: “Significance of the arrival of the Portuguese in India.” 

OR

Write a short essay on: “Portuguese control of the Indian Ocean and its impact.” 

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

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Bhakti and Sufi

 

Write a short essay on: “The Sufi Movement and its role in promoting communal harmony.” 

OR

Write a short essay on: “Sufi Movements”

OR

Write a short essay on: “Sufism in North India” 

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What was the most significant contribution of Kabir and Guru Nanakdev to Bhakti movement? 

OR

What impact did Kabir and Nanak leave on Indian Society and Culture?

OR

Discuss the growth of the Nirguna School of Bhakti Movement emphasising the contribution of Kabir and Nanak to it. 

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Write a short essay on: “Chaitanyadeva and Vaishnavism”

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Discuss and evaluate critically various trends in the historiography of Bhakti. 

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Evaluate the Malfuzat texts sources of medieval history. 

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

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“Tantrism, if not in practice, at last on conception level challenged patriarchy.” Examine Tantrism specially keeping in mind the above context. 

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7. The Fifteenth and early Sixteenth Century – Society and Culture
(i)             Regional cultural specificities -Literary traditions – Provincial architecture

(ii)           Society, culture, literature and the arts in Vijayanagara Empire.

Discuss the development of art and culture under the Vijayanagar Empire. 

OR

“Art, literature and culture reached a high level of development in the Vijayanagar Empire.” Discuss. 

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Write a short essay on: “Architecture of the Vijayanagara Empire.” 

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Make an estimate of Rana Kumbha as a patron of literature and art. 

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8. Akbar
(i)             Conquests and consolidation of the Empire

(ii)           Establishment of Jagir and Mansab systems

(iii)         Rajput policy

(iv)          Evolution of religious and social outlook, theory of Sulh-i-kul and religious policy

(v)           Court patronage of art and technology

Conquests and consolidation of the Empire

Write a short essay on: “Hemu Vikramaditya” 

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Establishment of Jagir and Mansab systems

Bring out the main features of the Mansab and Jagir systems with special reference to the reign of Akbar. 

OR

Examine the Mansab and Jagir system by Akbar and its subsequent failure in the 18th century. 

OR

Analyse the merits and demerits of the Mansabdari System. How did it work under Akbar’s successors? 

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Write a short essay on: “Mansabdari System” 

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Rajput policy

Write a short essay on: “Rana Pratap’s patriotism was his only offence.” 

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“Akbar built the Mughal Empire by enlisting the support Rajputs.” Do you agree? 

OR

Akbar built the Mughal Empire by enlisting the support of the Rajputs; Aurangzeb destroyed it by alienating the Rajputs.” Discuss critically. 

OR

Describe the Rajput policy of the Mughal emperors. Do you agree with the view that the reversal of Akbar’s Rajput policy by Aurangzeb was responsible for the disintegration of the Mughal Empire? 

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Evolution of religious and social outlook, theory of Sulh-i-kul and religious policy

Highlight the catholicity of Akbar’s regime with suitable examples. 

OR

Write a short essay on: “Religious tolerance of Akbar.” 

OR

Trace the evolution of the religious views of Akbar. Write a note on his policy of Sulh-i kul. 

OR

Write a short Essay on: “Implications of Akbar’s notion of Sulh-i-kul.”

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What motivated Akbar to enunciate Din-i-Ilahi? How far did he succeed in spreading it? 

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Was Din-i-Ilahi ‘a monument of Akbar’s folly’? 

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“In medieval Indian history Akbar was unique for his religio-political ideas and policies.” Analyse this statement. 

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Court patronage of art and technology

Give an estimate of Akbar as a promoter of technology. 

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9. Mughal Empire in the Seventeenth Century
(i)             Major administrative policies of Jahangir, Shahjahan and Aurangzeb

(ii)           The Empire and the Zamindars

(iii)         Religious policies of Jahangir, Shahjahan and Aurangzeb

(iv)          Nature of the Mughal State

(v)           Late Seventeenth century crisis and the revolts

(vi)          The Ahom Kingdom

(vii)        Shivaji and the early Maratha Kingdom.

Changes in the composition of nobility from Akbar to Aurangzeb. Comment. 

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Write a short essay on: “Nurjahan” 

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Write a short essay on: “Dara Shikoh” 

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Late Seventeenth century crisis and the revolts

Analyze the cause of the agrarian crisis of the Mughal Empire and briefly discuss the agrarian aspects of the peasant revolt against the Empire. 

OR

On the basis  of  the  accounts  of  Europeans  bring  out  the  agrarian  crisis  of  the  17th century CE India. 

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The Ahom Kingdom

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

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Shivaji and the early Maratha Kingdom

How did Shivaji organize his administration and finances to consolidate his power? 

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

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10. Economy and Society in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries
(i)             Population, agricultural production, craft production

(ii)           Towns, commerce with Europe through Dutch, English and French companies: a trade revolution. Indian mercantile classes, banking, insurance and credit systems

(iii)         Condition of peasants, condition of women

(iv)          Evolution of the Sikh community and the Khalsa Panth

 

 Population, agricultural production, craft production

Write a short essay on: “Estimates of population of Mughal India.” 

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Towns, commerce with Europe through Dutch, English and French companies : a trade revolution. Indian mercantile classes, banking, insurance and credit systems

Write a short essay on: “The Mughals and the European trading companies.” 

OR

Write a short essay on: “Mughals and the British East India Company.” 

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Discuss the different types of Karkhanas in Mughal India. How was the production organized in the different Karkhanas? 

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Give a sketch of Indian trade with Europe during the Mughal period. 

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Analyse the Mughal monetary system and examine their policy of minting of coins. 

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Evolution of the Sikh community and the Khalsa Panth

Write a short essay on: “Evolution of the Khalsa Panth” Comment. 

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11. Culture in the Mughal Empire
(i)             Persian histories and other literature. Hindi and other religious literature

(ii)           Mughal architecture

(iii)         Mughal painting

(iv)          Provincial architecture and painting

(v)           Classical music

(vi)          Science and technology

 Persian histories and other literature. Hindi and other religious literature

What was the contribution of the Mughals to the development of education and literature? 

OR

Write a short Essay on the development of Literature during Mughal Period. 

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Write a short essay on: “Babarnama as a source of history.” 

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How does Tuzuk-i-Babri testify that Babar had been a cultured man? 

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Mughal architecture

Write a short essay on: “The zenith of Mughal architecture under Shahjehan” 

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Explain the principal features of architecture during Akbar’s rule. What changes were made in them by Shahjahan? 

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Mughal painting

Write a short essay on: “During the reign of Jaliangir Mughal painting reached its zenith.” 

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Write a short Essay on: “Mughal painting” 

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Science and technology

Write a short essay on: “Sawai jai Singh, the astronomer” 

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What was the Indian response to European Technology? 

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12. The Eighteenth Century
(i)             Factors for the decline of the Mughal Empire

(ii)           The regional principalities: Nizam’s Deccan, Bengal, Awadh

(iii)         Maratha ascendancy under the Peshwas

(iv)          The Maratha fiscal and financial system

(v)           Emergence of Afghan Power, Battle of Panipat:1761

(vi)          State of politics, culture and economy on the eve of the British conquest

Factors for the decline of the Mughal Empire

In which respects did the policies of Aurangzeb contribute to the disintegration of the Mughal Empire? 

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“The expansion of Mughal Empire in Deccan brought about its decline.” Discuss. 

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The regional principalities: Nizam’s Deccan, Bengal, Awadh

Discuss the causes of the rise and growth of regional kingdoms with special reference to Deccan in the 18th century. 

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Maratha ascendancy under the Peshwas

Why did the Marathas fail in establishing a lasting empire in India? 

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Compare the Peshwas’ bureaucratic management with that of the Imperial Mughal administration. 

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The Maratha fiscal and financial system

Write a short essay on: “Chauth and Sardeshmukhi” 

OR

Write a short essay on: “The system of the collection of Chauth and Sardeshmukhi by the Maratha rulers.” 

OR

Write a short answer on: “Chauth and Sardeshmukhi of the Maratha rulers.” 

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Emergence of Afghan Power, Battle of Panipat: 1761

Write a short essay on: “Third Battle of Panipat” 

OR

Write a short essay on: “Consequences of the Third Battle of Panipat.” 

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