[Question Paper] History Mains 2012 Paper 1 & 2 of UPSC Civil Service IAS IPS Exam

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Mrunal Polity Lecture
  1. History Mains 2012 Paper 1
    1. History Paper I (SECTION – A)
    2. History Paper I (SECTION – B)
  2. History Mains 2012 (Paper 2)
    1. History P2 (SECTION – A)
    2. History P2 (SECTION – B)

History Mains 2012 Paper 1

History Paper I (SECTION – A)
Q1. Identify the following places marked on the map supplied to you and write short notes of about 40 words on each of the places marked on the map are given below: (very sorry I don’t have the map!)

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


  1. Discuss the extent, settlement patterns and subsistence economy of the megalithic cultures.
  2. Assess the educational system in early India and identify important educational institutions of the period.


  1. Examine the role of adhyaksha in the Mauryan administration.
  2. Analyse the vibrant cultural activities in peninsular India during 550-750 CE. Compare and contrast it with the situation in contemporary North India.

History Paper I (SECTION – B)
Q5. 150 words on each:

  1. Evaluate Rajtarangini as asource of history.
  2. Medieval Indian towns were merely as extension of villages. Comment.
  3. Assess the contribution of the Acharyas in the development of the ideological basis of bhakti.
  4. Discuss the Cauraoancashika and Jain styles of paintings. Can the Cauraoancashika style truly be called the precursor of pothi format?
  5. Give social background to the rice of the Maratha movement during the seventeenth century.


  1. What kind of changes were visualised by historians on Indian feudalism ? Examine critically.
  2. Analyse the social composition and the role of mobility under the successors of Iltutmish. How did it affect the contemporary politics?


  1. Evaluate the role of nadu and magaram in the growth of urbanisation under the Cholas.
  2. How did theMongol 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?
  2. How was the Afghan nobility responsible for the decline of the Afghan empires ? Discuss.

History Mains 2012 (Paper 2)

History P2 (SECTION – A)
Q1. Critically examine the following statements in about 150 words each:-

  1. “The current practice of categorisation 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.
  1. “Compared 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.”
  2. “The peasant movements of the second half of the nineteenth century lacked a positive conception which would unite the people in a common struggle on a wide regional and all-India plane and help develop long-term political developments.”
  3. “Plantations and mines, jute, banking, insurance, shipping and export-import concerns in India were run through a system of interlocking managing agencies.”
  4. “Nehru’s policy of Non-Alignment came to symbolised 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 conductive to trade and investment had shaped the British policy towards India in the first half of the nineteenth century”. – Elucidate.
  2. “The contact of the new Indian middle class with the West proved to be a catalyst. The social and religious movements launched by Rammohan or Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar have to be understood in this context.” – Elucidate.


  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.
  2. “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 favored the policy of integrating the tribal people in Indian society, of making them as integral part of the Indian nation even while maintaining their distinct identity and culture.” -Elaborate with special reference to Northeastern India.
  2. “The Chipko became famous as the first major environmental movement in post-colonial India and gave to the understanding that environment issues are often women’s issues because they suffer most from its deterioration.” – Explain.

History P2 (SECTION – B)

Q5. Critically examine the following statements in about 150 words each:-

  1. “The despotic rulers of Europe were influenced by the philosophy of Enlightenment and begun to follow a benevolent policy towards their subjects.”
  2. “The American Revolution was essentially as economic conflict between American capitalism as British mercantilism.”
  3. “The connection between the philosophers’ iseas and the outbreak of the French Revolution (1789) is somewhat remote and indirect.”
  4. “The process of industrialisation 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 the Europe, but, that of the Russia Revolution (1917) was global.” – Critically review.
  2. “Any single explanation for the outbreak of the First World War 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 propositions.” – Explain.


  1. How did Napoleon fuse the French of the ancient regime with the France of the post-revolutionary ear?
  2. 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 October1, 1959 by Mao Zedong ended the civil war between the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Nationalist Party (KMT).” – Elaborate.
  2. “The Arab nationalism had a peculiar character. It stood for nation independence for separate Arab States as well as for the unity of all Arabs irrespective of their state boundaries.” – Examine.

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51 Comments on “[Question Paper] History Mains 2012 Paper 1 & 2 of UPSC Civil Service IAS IPS Exam”

  1. thank u so much mrunal

    god bless u always

  2. pl. provide philosophy paper of this year..

  3. paper 2 was still easier than paper 1…anyone who wrote can u please share ur model answers..thanks

  4. paper 1 map was a teaser..shocked at the places..rest all were sort of achievable..bt keeping in mind the limitations of time and the lengthiness of the paper i had to cut short the answers to attempt all..

    1. i was analyzing paper of this year, got few questions.
      1) for question about pliny’s statement, where we can follow the statements, it seems completely out of box for me.
      2) one question says, Access the situation of education in early india, how early does it mean? i mean before which century?
      3) what kind of challenges historians visualized on Indian feudalism?

      what do you say ..
      please reply once you get time..


  5. thanks a lot mrunal it could helpful if u can upload anthropology too

  6. As Hindi language is a popular subject……. please provide us the same if u can……….
    thanks……hv a great day..

  7. आपके इस सहयोग के लिए बहुत बहुत धन्यवाद | लेकिन कृपया हिंदी तथा इतिहास के लिए कुछ Study material भी लोड करे |

  8. @venky
    can u please share ur answers strategy for paper 1…im not getting answers of some questions of paper 1

  9. @sachin
    as they r no compulsory questions in question 1 of ancient india(as it is covered by map pointin)..i concentrated more on medieval india..i covered almost every part of the syllabus from various sources like ncert,satish chandra and internet..can u be more specific which questions u were nt able to get to..as i find it was nt tht difficult as last year paper

  10. @venky
    Q.8 (a) (2nd part of the question and time period )
    Q.6 (a) ( from which time period do we have to start on this)
    Q.5 2nd sub-part Medieval indian towns were a ….

  11. @Venki

    Have u attempted Q.6 ?
    How u approached the first question ? I was bit confused in the hall and cud only able to write a below avg answer .

  12. both the history and geography questions are tough

  13. First i wud explain my approach on 6 ques..as it is in medieval india question a brief description of how feudalism had evolved thru land grants in south india during satavahanas and its development during gupta times shud be mentioned..As trade declined during early medieval india due to fall of roman empire in the west land grants had evolved as an option for nobles..it became hereditary and due to frequent fall of empires these nobles tried to rule them independently..i ended the answer by the ultimate fall of rajputs and entry of muslim rulers into india because of feudalism

  14. @sachin:i didnt attempt question 8..but i could get only one example of passive resistance of peasants during medieval india where peasants in the ganga doab region vacated their villages on account of muhammad bin tughluqs policy of forcing his tax collectors to collect more tax from peasants..i was nt able to find out any other solid example

  15. @sachin:Q5 2nd sub part:As trade declined due to strong Kwarizm empire in the west..there was no trade so no devpt of towns..Sarais(rest places) of Sher shah along the trading routes,where part of village revenues had to be given to it also helped indirectly as these sarais later developed into towns..and moreover due to iqtadar and jagirdari system the nobles themselves have to collect revenue from their iqtas..so they lived in nearby towns which are just the extension of villages..answer can be still better written and any additions or deletions of my answer is welcome

  16. thanks venki…
    one more thing..which was the other question u did from 1st part apart frm the compulsory map question and how did u answer it..

  17. please send me mechanical engg. civil service exam paper 2012

  18. @ Venki,

    I am sorry . I meant paper II Q6 . About French Rev. and Russian Rev. impacts . Did u attempted tht ?

  19. @ Venki,

    I am sorry . I meant paper II Q6 . About French Rev. and Russian Rev. impacts . Did u attempted tht ? How u examined it critically ?

    1. Hi Libin,

      I did attempt this question.. The emphasis should be on the impact of these revolutions…like French revolution had a limited impact in Europe only whereas it was global in case of Russian revolution.. The ideology of socialism got a greater boom after Russian one. The colonies took Russia as their example. The ideology of thinkers directly influenced the Russian revolution whereas it was indirect in France. The impact of the revolution remained for a long time after Russian revolution, but in France people disillusioned after some time thats’why Napoleon came in power.. Economic impacts were greater in case of Russian revolution… There are some more aspect like social, political are to be taken into consideration in this ansswer… I have just given a random idea…


  20. @venki i have some doubts and maybe i am wrong regarding Q6(a)
    1. the roman empire declined in 5 century and completely in mid 6th century. so early medieval India phase somewhat came later so time era do not match according to me
    2. also the Indian feudalism can be attributed more to banning of trade by roman empire not to decline as mentioned by Pliny(regarding trade with india) also.
    3. The land grants also rose as there was no centralized revenue machinery or even administration in Gupta or any other empire like Mauryas when stress was on centralised control. So indian feudalism also rose because of an ill-adaptive administration.
    4. Further as very little kingdoms arose in post gupta period so inter kingdom trade decreased in India because of lack of uniform currency and lack of gold in India at early medieval period so major revenue for thses kingdom was from agriculture or from within state. as these lacked machinery for effective collection they more or less expanded indian feudalism

  21. what can i do for getting notes and question papers in hindi version

  22. what should i do for getting notes and question papers of civil services exam in hindi version

  23. can somebody provide information about best coaching centers in delhi for history optional.I am a B.E. graduate.So any coaching center which start from the scratch would be ok..!


  25. Hi guys ,
    I have 2 queries..
    1. Am i right in saying that afghan nobility for decline of afghan empire meant question on LODHI dynasty..tat means no question in any form was asked on the mughal empire ?
    2. Cauraoancashika style of painting..cant find any material for it..could someone please brief me about it.

  26. Can you please share the answer with us too…. it will be really appreciated from all of us… and we also appreciate what you have done by helping us by uploading these papers.

    Thank you

    Regards from,

    Atif Iqbal

  27. sir,
    can you kindly give me the list of books for hindi literature which i am taking as one of my optional subjects.

  28. though paper 2 looks quite approachable but one has to keep in mind that it was so lengthy along with this diplomacy part was prominent than previous years…..in paper 1 Q.1 WAS A SHOCKER FOR MANY……and rest ques.too were not so direct…..so i predict score is not going to be so high…..as many are guessing….i may be wrong

  29. Thank you sir
    can you kindly give me the list of book for english grammer and also history book

  30. Could any one provide link to download last one decade papers?

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