1. Analysis: History MCQs
  2. Ancient
  3. Buddhism/Jainism
  4. Culture, Society
  5. Medieval
  6. Modern History/Freedom Struggle

Analysis: History MCQs

  1. In 2013, 22 Out of 125 questions came from Indian History. = ~18% of the paper was History.
  2. In 2012 they had asked 21 questions. So importance of History remains more or less the same.
  3. UPSC is newfound love for Jainism-Buddhism is evident from its 3 MCQs in CSAT-2013, 4 MCQs in CAPF-2013.
  4. Harappan civilization topic makes a comeback.
  5. At least six questions can be solved directly from (new) NCERTs.
  6. Some are bit debatable, because I haven’t located source yet.
  7. Haven’t found the answer to Dakshinpantha yet.

History Answerkey CAPF Internal breakup

ancient 5
Jainism-Buddhism 4
society 3
medieval 3
modern 7
total 22


Polity 14 Covered. Click me
Geography+EnB+Agro 14+8 Covered. Click me
Economy+IR+PIN 21+4+2 to be released soon
Science 20 to be released soon
History 22 Given in this article.
Aptitude 20 to be released soon
total 125

Corrections, Additions post them in comments.


Q1. Various causes have been suggested for the decline of Harappan culture. Consider the causes mentioned below and identify the weakest of them.

  1. Due to constant incidents of naturally occurring floods
  2. Due to increase in the salinity of the soil, fertility decreased there
  3. Earthquakes caused changes in the course of the Indus, which led to inundation
  4. The Aryans invaded and destroyed the Harappan culture

Observe fourth statement:

The Aryans invaded and destroyed the Harappan culture

  1. Indian History by Krishna Reddy(TMH Publication), Page A57: There is no evidence of any Aryan invasion or infiltration causing the flight of Harappans.
  2. (new) NCERT Class 12, Ch.1, Page18: There is no destruction level covering the latest period of the city, no sign of extensive burning, no bodies of warriors clad in armour and surrounded by the weapons of war. The citadel, the only fortified part of the city, yielded no evidence of a final defence.
  3. Old NCERT Class 11, Page80: “Later researches proved that Wheeler’s thesis of Aryan being destroyers of the Harappan civilization was a myth.”

Meaning D is weakest.

Q2. The prevalence of grain in Harappan sites indicated that

  1. Harappans ploughed their fields
  2. Harappans broadcast seed on their fields
  3. agriculture was prevalent in Harappan sites
  4. trade in bulk items like food grains was well-established in Harappan times
  1. Harappans ploughed their fields
Harappans ploughed their fields=> for this to be confirmed, archeologist have to find wooden plough and soil marks. Prevalence of grain alone doesn’t prove or deny this statement.
  1. Harappans broadcast seed on their fields
same as above
  1. agriculture was prevalent in Harappan sites
  1. trade in bulk items like food grains was well-established in Harappan times
Archeologist have to corroborate with evidence of Harappan pottery, seals, Ivory etc. in other countries. Prevalence of grain alone doesn’t prove the trade was well established.

Hence answer (C)

Q3. Ancient route Dakshinpantha connected

  1. Ajanta with Golconda
  2. Ellora with Muziris
  3. Ajanta with Arikamedu
  4. Ajanta with Pataliputra

Haven’t located the source yet. If you know, answer post in the comment below.

Q4. Which one among the following inscriptions was installed in the easternmost part of Ashoka’s territory?

  1. Barabar hill cave inscription
  2. Dhauli major rock edicts
  3. Sahasram minor rock edicts
  4. Lauriya Araraj pillar edicts

Tata Macgrawhil General studies Manual, Page 24: Map of Ashoka’s empire.

We can see among the given four places, Dhauli is easternmost- place where river Mahanadi meets the Ocean. I’ve marked those two places in map given in NCERT Class 12, Chapter 2, Page 33.

map-ashoka's empire CAPF history answerkey

Answer (B) Dhauli.

Q5. Who among the following is the author of ‘Ashtadhyayi’, the Sanskrit grammar?

  1. Patanjali
  2. Panini
  3. Kalidasa
  4. Banabhatta

Panini’s Ashtadhyayi. Answer (B)

For more refer this:



Q1. Statement I : Ashoka called the Third Buddhist Council in 252 BC at Pataliputra and it was there that the Buddhist became divided into two sects—the Hinayana and the Mahayana.

Statement II : Kanishka called the Fourth Buddhist Council at Kundalvana near Srinagar and Vasumitra was believed to have acted as President.

  1. Both the statements are individually true and Statement II is the correct explanation of Statement I
  2. Both the statements are individually true but Statement II is not the correct explanation of Statement I
  3. Statement I is true but Statement II is false
  4. Statement I is false but Statement II is true

Lucent’s GK Book: table on page 21

Division of Hinyana-Mahayana happened during 4th Buddhist Council under Kanishaka=>1st statement is wrong Hence answer is (D)

Q2. The significant difference between Mahayana and Hinayana forms of Buddhism lay in that

  1. Mahayana allowed for the transference of merit while in Hinayana, a person would only help another by example and advice
  2. Mahayana believed in the Bodhisattvas while Hinayana did not
  3. Hinayana promoted the ideas of a suffering saviour
  4. Mahayana propounded the idea of the ‘Arhant’, the worthy’

Similar question was asked in ACIO-2013

Tata Macgrawhill General Studies Manual, Page 36

Hinyana ideal is arhat, one who strives for his own redemption. Mahayan upholds the ideal of Bodhisattva or Saviour, who is concerned with salvation of others. Hence answer is (B)

Q3. The Buddhist Sangha was an organization of monks

  1. who became teachers of Dhamma
  2. that helped the spread of education
  3. to help the integration of the State
  4. to provide relief to the poor in times of distress

Buddhist Scriptures  By Anil Goonewardene, Page8

Buddha advised the Sangha to teach in the language of the people they spoke to….The oral tradition of Buddhism continues today. The Sangha Memorize sections of Dhamma and chant portions of it at festivals and ceremonies. , both in temples and in the homes of Buddhst. This chanting helps to teach children and adults because after hearing it several times, they begin to remember the words.

Hence Answer (A)

Q4. Khumbum monastery is situated in

  1. India
  2. Thailand
  3. Japan
  4. China

It is in Tibet and Tibet is “integral” part of China. Hence answer is (D)

Culture, Society

Q1. Statement I: The Jajmani system was one in which the village artisans supplied traditionally fixed quantities of their products to peasant families in return for shares in the harvest.

Statement II : The Jajmani system was a system of the Jotedars (rich farmers) and the Bargadars (sharecroppers).

  1. Both the statements are individually true and Statement II is the correct explanation of Statement I
  2. Both the statements are individually true but Statement II is not the correct explanation of Statement I
  3. Statement I is true but Statement II is false
  4. Statement I is false but Statement II is true

Rural Sociology By Rajendra Kumar Sharma, Page 144

Jajmani system means each caste group within village is expected to give certain standardized services to families of other castes. E.g Shopkeeper, barber, ironsmith, shoemaker. In Majority of cases, Farmer paid gives grains for the services.=> statement 1 is correct.

In the land reform articles, we saw Sharecropping- Jotedars and Bargadars. it is one type of Land Tenancy system. doesn’t fit the Jajmani definition.=>Statement II incorrect.

Hence, answer (C)

Q2. The direct correlation among caste, poverty and social status implied that

  1. with improvement in economic status, one could claim higher social status
  2. caste hierarchy was immutable
  3. lower castes were the only ones to be pushed into menial labour
  4. with improvement in social status, one could claim higher caste status

Answer choice

  1. 1,2,4
  2. 1,3,4
  3. 2,4
  4. 1,3

NIOS Sociology, Chapter 27, Page 56

Sanskritization: it is a process by which any low caste could adapt to the behavioral pattern, style of life and culture of high caste and claim membership in that high caste. But they’ve to leave their unclean occuption and other impure habits like meat eating and taking (desi) liquor etc.

For Sanskritization, a caste must have three conditions

  1. touchable status
  2. better economic condition
  3. make a claim to membership into a high caste by propagating some story or myth.

Now let’s check question statements

  1. with improvement in economic status, one could claim higher social status
Correct, as long as he meets two other conditions.
  1. caste hierarchy was immutable
wrong. Because with Sanskritization, one can move upwards in the caste hierarchy.

so far, answer must contain #1 and must not contain #2. Eliminate options accordingly

  1. 1,2,4
  2. 1,3,4
  3. 2,4
  4. 1,3

Now it boil downs to whether statement 4 is right or wrong?: With improvement in social status, one could claim higher caste status

haven’t found the source to confirm/deny about #4. Those with sociology optional, throw some wisdom in the comment :D

Q3. Match following

A. Vallamkali 1. Temple festival
B. Pooram festival 2. Boat race
C. Chapchar Kut 3. The marriage of Lord Krishna and Rukmini
D. Madhavrai fair 4. Spring festival
  1. 3142
  2. 2143
  3. 2413
  4. 3412

Correct pair

A.Vallamkali 2. Boat race.Vallamkali Vallamkali (boat race) is celebrated with extreme joy and vigour during the Onam season
B.Pooram 1.Parade of Elephants to the temple in Trichur.
C.Chapchar Kut 4.spring festival in Mizoram
D.Madhavrai fair 3. Madhavrai fair at Madhavpur near Porbandar is held to celebrate the marriage by elopement of Lord Krishna and Rukmani .

Hence correct pattern is 2143. Answer B


Q1. The establishment of Mughal rule in India

  1. strengthened urbanization
  2. strengthened inter-urban contact in riparian North India
  3. increased India’s sea trade
  4. decreased the risk of carrying long-distance trade

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  1. 1, 2 and 3
  2. 1 and 2 only
  3. 3 and 4
  4. 1 only

Debatable, depending on which author you believe in:

Approach #1

India in the World Economy: From Antiquity to the Present By Tirthankar Roy.

Page 60: Formation of Mughal state in the North strengthened urbanization and interurban contact in riparian Northern India.

Page 62: the Mughal dominion stimulated trade on the maritime route to Persia.

Hence statement 1, 2 and 3 correct. Answer (A)

Approach #2:

Modern World System and Indian Proto-industrialization, Volume 1  By Abhay Kumar Singh

Mughals didnot initiate steps to facilitate developing and advancing naval and mercantile shipping, nor inspired and encourage shipwrights, ship owners, maritime entrepreneurs and maritime merchants.=>Hence statement 3 is incorrect.

The Indian Ocean By Michael N. Pearson page 116

The Mughals, and other Indian rulers of Large states, by and large pursued a hands-off attitude to trade in general, including that by Sea. Hence 3 and 4 are incorrect.

from these two sources, Statement 3 is incorrect. Hence A and C eliminated.

Since examiner lifted “riparian North India” phrase from Tirthankar Roy’s book so 1 and 2 is definitely correct. Therefore answer (B)

Q2. Akbar’s Ibadat Khana was the place where

  1. military strategy was decided
  2. inter-faith debates and discussions were held
  3. Akbar preached his principles of Sulh-i-lad
  4. fine arts were practiced

NCERT class7 History, Chapter4, Page 54

While Akbar was at Fatehpur Sikri during the 1570s he started discussions on religion with the ulama, Brahmanas, Jesuit priests who were Roman Catholics, and Zoroastrians. These discussions took place in the ibadat khana. Hence answer (B)

Q3. Ritual kinship was the hallmark of Vijayanagar rule. Vijayanagar rulers claimed to have ruled on behalf of which one among the following shrines?

  1. Vithala
  2. Tirupati
  3. Virupaksha
  4. Mallikarjuna

NCERT History Class 12, Chapter 3, Page 184.

It is likely that the very choice of the site of Vijayanagara was inspired by the existence of the shrines of Virupaksha and Pampadevi. In fact the Vijayanagara kings claimed to rule on behalf of the god Virupaksha. Hence Answer (C)

Modern History/Freedom Struggle

Q1. Mahatma Gandhi’s opposition to separate electorates for untouchables was because

  1. separate electorates would ensure them bondage in perpetuity
  2. of the apprehension of offending the conservative high caste Hindus
  3. it would weaken Mahatma Gandhi’s position as a leader
  4. None of the above

NCERT Class 12 History, Chapter 4, Page 360.

At the Round Table Conference Mahatma Gandhi stated his arguments against separate electorates for

the Depressed Classes, saying:

Separate electorates to the “Untouchables” will ensure them bondage in perpetuity.

Hence answer (A)

Q2. Incorrect Statement

  1. The jute industry was almost entirely owned by Europeans
  2. The cotton textile industry was almost wholly owned by Indians
  3. The cotton textile industry was small in size
  4. The growth of cotton industry was the result of government support

Krishna Reddy, Page C85

Tea plantations, coal mines, the jute mills etc had developed in Eastern India under European enterprise, roughly between 1850s and 1880.=>A is correct

In Bombay presidency, cotton mills developed under Parsi and Gujarati enterprise before and after the Civil War in united states.=>B is correct

(Page C87): Slow and painful progress of Indian industries and their inability to compensate even for displacement of indigenous handicrafts in terms of production as well as employment. The main reasons for this feature of Indian industrial Development was the British Policy of artificially restricting and slowing down growth of Indian industry and by not giving them any protection or financial help.=>Hence statement D is incorrect.  Therefore Answer is (D)

Q3. The first major boost to modern industry in India happened in the 1860s- It was a direct result of

  1. the demand created in America because of the Civil War
  2. the demand created in Europe because of the Civil War in America
  3. the decline in competition from the cotton mills of Lancashire and Manchester
  4. the support of government to industries in India

Sumit Sarkar, Page30

Rising exports particularly noticeable during the cotton boom of 1860s when American Civil war made Lancashire (England) turn to Deccan raw cotton for a few years.

Hence answer (B)

Q4. The Salt Satyagraha

  1. encouraged Indians to manufacture salt
  2. showed to the government that Indians would break unfair laws
  3. proved that Mahatma Gandhi was a mass leader
  4. was designed to destroy the finances of the colonial government

Rajendra Prasad’s autobiography page 295

Gandhi further argued that anti-Salt law Satyagraha would be easily understood by all and would also be considered just by the world at large. He thought once we were able to break these unjust laws, we would be able to exercise control over other laws.

Learning History-Civics Standard Eight  By Shantashree Shetty Page 63

The Salt Satyagraha was symbolic of the breaking of all unfair and unjust laws of the Government in a very peaceful way.

The Joy of Social Studies Std.5, Page 29

On reaching Dandi, all of them broke the law by making salt. The British Government understood that Indians would protest any unjust law that would be passed.

Hence answer (B)

Q5. The Khilafat Movement was built around

  1. opposing British rule in India
  2. protecting the sovereignty of the Khalifa
  3. opposing the national movement
  4. protesting against lack of educational opportunities in India

NCERT Class 12 Chapter 4, Page 350

Khilafat Movement, (1919 -1920) was a movement of Indian Muslims, led by Muhammad Ali and Shaukat Ali, that demanded the following: The Turkish Sultan or Khalifa must retain control over the Muslim sacred places in the erstwhile Ottoman empire.

Answer (B)

Q6. Separate electorates for representation of Indian Christians and Anglo-Indians were created under the

  1. Indian Councils Act, 1861
  2. Government of India Act, 1909
  3. Government of India Act, 1919
  4. Government of India Act, 1935

Indian Polity by M.Laxmikanth, Chapter on Historical background of Constitution.

Government of India Act of 1919: It extended the principle of communal representation by providing separate electorates for Sikhs, Indian Christians, Anglo-Indians and Europeans. Hence Answer C.

Q7: Mahatma Gandhi’s severe criticism of the Congress leadership at the opening of the Benaras Hindu University was focused on

  1. the Congress strategy for opposing the government
  2. the congress accepting offices under the government
  3. condemnation of Indian nationalism for being an elite phenomenon
  4. All of the above

NCERT Class 12 Chapter 4, Page 347-48

His first major public appearance was at the opening of the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in February 1916. When his turn came to speak, Gandhi charged the Indian elite with a lack of concern for the labouring poor. The opening of the BHU, he said, was “certainly a most gorgeous show”. But he worried about the contrast between the “richly bedecked noblemen” present and “millions of the poor” Indians who were absent.

Hence Answer (C)

Corrections, Additions post them in comments.