[Download] History Optional Subject Paper 1 & 2 of UPSC Civil Service IAS IPS Mains Exam 2013 with high quality Map, Hindi Scan

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  1. Instructions
  2. History Paper 1 Section A
  3. History Paper I: Section B
  4. History Paper 2: Section A (Modern India)
  5. History Paper II: Section B (World History)
  6. Original Scan / Hindi Medium


  • There are EIGHT questions divided in Two Section, Candidate has to attempt FIVE questions in all.
  • Question no. 1 and 5 are compulsory and out of the remaining, THREE are to be attempted choosing at least ONE from each section.
  • Answers must be written in the medium authorized in the Admission certificate which must be stated clearly on the cover of this Question-cum-Answer (QCA) booklet in the space provided. No marks will be given for answers written in medium other than the authorized one.
  • Word limit in questions, wherever specified, should be adhered to.
  • Attempts of questions shall be counted in chronological order. Unless struck off, attempt of a question shall be counted even if attempted partly. Any page or portion of the page left blank in the answer book must be clearly struck off.

History Paper 1 Section A

History Mains 2013 Map

click to enlarge map

Question 1: Identify the following places marked on the map into question cum answer booklet supplied to you and right about short notes of 30 words on each of them in the space provided in the booklet. 2.5m x 20= 50 marks

  1. A paleolithic and Mesolithic site
  2. A Mesolithic site
  3. an important halting place
  4. A pre-Harappan site
  5. An important Harappan site
  6. Site of important fossils
  7. A sea port
  8. A paleolithic site
  9. A Neolithic, Megalithic and Chalcolithic site
  10. A harappan site
  11. A palaeolithic site
  12. A Neolithic site
  13. A Chalcolithic site
  14. A Chalcolithic site
  15. A site of Buddhist Monastery
  16. Painted Greyware site
  17. Site related to a famous Indian philosopher
  18. historical rock cut caves
  19. famous fort
  20. capital of famous kingdom

Q2: 15 + 20 + 15

  1. evaluate various views regarding human settlements is gleaned from the Vedic sources
  2. discuss the water management and its conservation planning in the harappan (Indus-Saraswati) cities
  3. in the absence of a written script, Chalcolithic pottery gives us a fascinating insight into the culture and lifestyle of the people of those times. Comment critically

Q3: 15 + 20 + 15

  1. on the basis of contemporary sources, assess the nature of banking and usuary in ancient India
  2. Social norms for women in the Dharmasastra and Arthasashtra tradition where framed in accordance with the Varnashrama tradition. Evaluate critically
  3. The verna concept may always have been largely a theoretical model and never an actual description of society. Comment in context of ancient India

Q4: 15 + 15 + 20

  1. evaluate the contribution of Puranas in disseminating secular knowledge among the masses in ancient India
  2. evaluate the ownership of land in ancient India on the basis of literary and epigraphic sources
  3. explain as to how the early Buddhist stupa art, while using motifs and narratives and common cultural symbols, succeeded in transforming these themes for expounding Buddhist ideas

History Paper I: Section B

Question 5: Write short notes in not more than 150 words on each of the following: 10 x 5 =50

  1. evaluate the Malfuzat texts sources of media history
  2. discuss the state of society and economy of the Bahmani kingdom is gleaned from historical sources
  3. Give a catch of Indian trade with Europe during Mughal period
  4. analyze the steps taken Razia Sultan by to strengthen our position as an independent ruler despite various obstacles
  5. Bhakti and Mysticism of Lal Ded emerged as a social force in Kashmir. Comment

Q6: 20 + 15 + 15

  1. evaluate the condition industries in India from 1200 to 1500 CE
  2. on the basis of contemporary sources evaluate the system of agriculture and irrigation of the Vijaynagar kingdom
  3. critically evaluate the educational development during Sultanate period

Q7: 20-15-15

  1. on the basis of the accounts of Europeans being outside agrarian crisis during the 17th century India
  2. evaluate critically the conditions of labour from 1200 to 1500 CE on the basis of historical sources
  3. discuss and evaluate critically various times in the historiography of Bhakti

Q8: 15-20-15

  1. analyse how the political processes of state information of Mewar, from 10th to 15th century CE was challenged in the 16th century CE by imperialist policy of Akbar.
  2. Assess the Lekhapaddhati as an important source for evaluating the society and economy of the 13th century CE with special reference to Gujarat
  3. assess the development of science and technology in the Mughal period

History Paper 2: Section A (Modern India)

Question1: critically examine the following statement in about 150 words each (10 x 5 =50m)

  1. Dupleix made a cardinal blunder in looking for the key to India in Madras: Clive sought and found it in Bengal.
  2. Swami Vivekananda opine that “we should give our ancient spirituality and culture and get in return Western science, technology, methods of raising the standards of life, business integrity and technique of collective effort.”
  3. Ryotwari falls into three stages – early, middle and late, and the only description common to all is that it is a mode of settlement with small farmers, so small, indeed, that their average holding is, on recent figures, only about 6.5 acres.
  4. Many of us who work for the Congress program lived in a kind of intoxication during the year 1921. We were full of excitement and optimism… We had a sense of freedom and pride in that freedom
  5. Gandhi’s body is in jail but his soul is with you, India’s prestige is in your hands, you must not use any violence under any circumstances. You will be beaten but you must not exist; you must not raise a hand to ward off blows.

Q2: 25m + 25m

  1. “Weaving”, says R. C. Dutt, “was the national industry of the people and spinning was the pursuit of millions of women.” Indian textiles went to England and other parts of Europe, to China and Japan and Burma and Arabia and Persia and parts of Africa. Elucidate.
  2. “The first point to note is the continuing importance of religion and philosophy as vital ingredients in the modern Indian Renaissance. Indeed, there is as much reason for regarding it as a reformation as there is for treating it as a Renaissance.” Critically examine.

Q3: 25m + 25m

  1. “At the dawn of the twentieth century Lord Curzon, the Viceroy of India, was full of hostility towards the Indian National Congress and he confidentially reported to the Secretary of State in November 1900 : My own belief is that the Congress is tottering to its fall, and one of my greatest ambitions while in India is to assist it to a peaceful demise.” Examine.
  2. “Though the Act of 1919 was superseded by that of 1935, the preamble to the former was not repealed—the preservation of the smile of the Cheshire cat after its disappearance, and the latter said nothing about Dominion Status.” Elucidate.

Q4: 25m + 25m

  1. “Notwithstanding the quest for .modernity and the antagonism that guided Nehru’s attitude towards the inequalities inherent in the social structure in rural India, the Congress Party did not carry out a concerted campaign against discrimination based on caste. Nehru’s own perception was that industrial growth was bound to break the stranglehold of this feudal remnant. This, however, did not happen in India.” Examine.
  2. “The reorganization resulted in rationalizing the political map of India without seriously weakening its unity. If anything, its result has been functional, in as much as it removed what had been a major source of discord, and created homogeneous political units which could be administered through a medium that the vast majority of the population understood. Indeed, it can be said with the benefit of hindsight that language, rather than being a force for division,has proved a cementing and integrating influence.” Examine

History Paper II: Section B (World History)

Q5: Critically examine the following statements in about 150 words each :10×5=50m

  1. “For Kant, Enlightenment is mankind’s final coming of age, the emancipation of the human consciousness from an immature state of ignorance and error.”
  2. “Six hundred thousand men had died. The Union was preserved, the slaves freed. A nation ‘conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal’ had survived its most terrible ordeal.”
  3. “Colonialism not only deprives a society of its freedom and its wealth, but of its very character, leaving its people intellectually and morally disoriented.”
  4. “If the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia (that resulted in the creation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or Soviet Union) inaugurated an international competition for the hearts and minds of people all over the globe, the Chinese Revolution raised the stakes of that struggle.”
  5. “Decolonization has finished. It definitely belongs to the past. Yet somehow it has refused to become history.”

Q6: 25+25m

  1. “In spite of the careful framing of the Charter, the role of UNO as peacekeeper and international mediator has been somewhat lacklustre and muted and that
  2. continues to be so even after the end of Cold War.” Elucidate.
  3. “Change in Britain came comparatively peacefully through democratic process in the first half of the nineteenth century and a model of a functioning democracy through ballot box was successfully put in place.” Elaborate.

Q7: 25+25m

  1. “New imperialism was a nationalistic, not an economic phenomena.” Critically examine.
  2. “By the 1980s, the Communist system of the Soviet Union was incapable of maintaining the country’s role as a Superpower.” Elucidate.

Q8: 25+25m

  1. “The European Union is the new sick man of Europe.” Critically evaluate.
  2. “There must be an end to white monopoly on political power, and a fundamental restructuring of our political and economic systems to ensure that the inequalities of apartheid are addressed and our society thoroughly democratized.” Discuss.

Original Scan / Hindi Medium

  • click me to download PDF of original paper
  • click me To view online on google docs

 Courtesy: Thanks Akhil for sharing his paper.

76 Comments on “[Download] History Optional Subject Paper 1 & 2 of UPSC Civil Service IAS IPS Mains Exam 2013 with high quality Map, Hindi Scan”

  1. Sir please upload the Physics paper.In the era of lost science subjects for UPSC I am not able to find them.

  2. mrunal sir…now mains is over…i dint clear..this year…PT..and wanted to start afresh..for next year….though i am a old follower of yours…and i have seen there is a tremendous growth of your online community…so could you suggest for next yr..for all of us..who did not clear and wants to start again with much power full stroke..its becomes motivational when our online fellow get selected..and we feel proud in that…we are ready for the next move…so pls suggest us…..hope u you will answer.,thanks

  3. anyone who wrote this years mains with history..how did u approach some tough questions and tricky ones…please advise

    1. Though i haven’t given the mains this year but I don’t find anything tricky in these questions….they are tough ones requiring a deep understanding.The questions are quite unconventional and are from the topics which we usually neglect or prepare less. Even i am eager to know from where to read for such in-depth knowledge

      1. touche!!…never seen the paper so open-ended and the examiner discarded the traditional pattern of questions…we need to revamp our preparation

    2. Wrote mains….
      paper 1 was hilarious….
      paper 2 was easy..
      only two advises for all up comers…
      1.) more focus should be on culture,art,society than political events in ancient India…( make separate notes for them)
      2.) complete a topic whole…half knowledge will make u cry in exam…( try to cover at least 80% syllabus of history..

        1. Ha bhai …i mean do not overlook on wars,khandaans etc..just pay attention for completation of a particular topic..

      1. hi frnd i am 2014 aspirant and history is my optional.wat is ur advise for paper 2 and regarding map questions.pls reply as paper 1 appears tough.

      2. Will u please give me the list of books to refer for the exam?I am so confused about what to read for history….:):)

    3. I also took this year mains. I found paper-1(history) a bit easier but regarding paper-2 it was more a test of your understanding of subject and your writing skills (than merely a simple collection of facts) . the Paper-2 gave you enough space to turn it bad for you and at the same time a very good one to fetch you impressive marks.


      2. U found it easier…that means u focussed more on non conventional topics for ancient n medieval i guess..
        and true paper 2 was easy in disguise …u needed to scratch ur brains…direct topics were asked in totally statement form..


      4. Paper I was not “easy” by stretch of imagination, most of us had concentrated on the political history of ancient India. Not many were expecting questions on secular impact of puranas and irrigation system of Vijayanagara. Having said that, this year has been an eyeopener for me and others like me who were appearing for the first time and without any professional guidance whatsoever. I seems we have to delve deeper into every aspect of our history to stand a chance at cracking it, and analytical skills will come handy. This provides a glimmer of hope to us who cannot avail costly professional guidance…

  4. @ historian : ppr 1 seemed like a ppr for archeological science & not history :D ppr 2 was gud but only if one has in depth knowledge.
    follow d given books…
    ancient : upinder singh
    medieval : satish chandra + irfan habib
    modern : shekhar bandopadhyaya
    post independence : bipan chandra
    world history : l mukherjee + norman lowe
    also read d ignou material for medieval modern n world….
    prepare map question thoroughly.

    1. thanks for the list..i have most ..but ignou material is epic for ancient n medieval…especially art culture and society…
      guess its history’s time to be on UPSC hitlist…

  5. mrunal sir
    plz uplaod GEOLOGY PAPER 1 AND PAER 2 ias mains 2013 questions ..
    i have taken this as optional..

    thanks mrunal sir

  6. guys .. can history(optional) be cracked without help from coaching.. have read few books
    Ancient- romila thapar
    Medieval- satish chandra
    Modern – Bipin chandra
    but wasn’t able to comprehend the paper.. Can you help me with books and approach

  7. guys .. can history(optional) be cracked without help from coaching.. have read few books
    Ancient- romila thapar
    Medieval- satish chandra
    Modern – Bipin chandra
    but wasn’t able to comprehend the paper.. Can you help me with books and approach

  8. Although i haven’t given the paper the mains,let me elicit my views….i think paper-1 was a bit unconventional and paper-2 irrespective of the length of the questions it was straight forward…..a serious intuition and coherent logical analysis is to be followed during preparation to answer such questions regarding caste,gotra and other social institutions prevalent in that era…Paper-1 is becoming more of a tricky paper due to the plethora of information available..

  9. Anyone who has gone through upinder singh for ancient india ? flipkart shows excellent reviews and books looks quite exhaustive in terms of coverage.Need suggestions for medieval india too.

    1. I too want to know about the usefulness of that upinder singh’s book…I have gone through romila thapar’s (ancient india) book…i found it extremely useful..is upinder singh;s books is better than that of romila thapar’s???

    2. There seems to be many upinder singh books on ancient india

      Which one is suggested by seniors and others…please give us the title of it…


  10. Hi Ashish , how much is romila thapar useful considering the questions asked this year in paper1? To what extent it covers them ?

    1. Hey cassius,look question regarding map is all about your capacity to remember stuff….most of the type of sitew which is asked in question no.1 is discussed at length in IGNO’s B.A material and romila thapar’s book..And regarding other questions no one should expect that question will be straight from any particular book. As far as a student’s ability to asses and evaluate any event of history,romila thapar’s book provide its reader useful insights and help him develop ability to think critically which i think would be a great advantage.
      I think that IGNOU’S material is an immensely useful one for every section of history.

      1. Can you tell me the title of romila thapar’s book because she has written ample of books on ancient

  11. mrunal bhai if you could please provide IGNOU’s M.A and B.A history note ….then it’ll be of immense help

  12. plz provide hindi medium notes for histry optional..egyankosh link is not working plz somebody help

  13. The paper was little bit tough because of neglect towards newspaper analysis. Various book reviews and contemporary news show the way to many questions of this year. Federal polity suggest to study whole Indian history in federal perspective. so three questions from Bengal Kashmir and Gujarat shocked to all.

  14. Mrunal sir,please help us out with history B.A materials of ignou,egyankosh not working and have no clue when will it be restored again….please help out from this glitch….studies getting hampered.

  15. ws nt satisfied with even a single answer of mine in history paper 1 in mains….how does the scaleing system work


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