1. Art and Culture
  2. Ancient India
  3. Medieval India
  4. Freedom Struggle
  5. About the Quizmaster

Art and Culture

Q. Which of the following statements with regard to the heterodox sect between sixth and fourth century BC are correct?(CDS-2017-ii)

  1. The Jain ideals were already being circulated in the seventh century BC by Parshava.
  2. Although Buddhism, and to a lesser extent Jainism, took account of the changes in material life and reacted against orthodoxy, neither of these sought to abolish the caste system.
  3. The first female disciple of Mahavira is said to have been a captured slave woman.
  4. Buddha held that nuns could attain spiritual liberation just like a monk and granted them an equal status in the mendicant order.

Select the correct answer using the code given below :

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


  • First statement is right as per Britannica. This eliminates “D”.
  • Vasumati daughter of King Dadhivahan was sold as a slave after her father was defeated in a battle. Later her name was changed to Chandana. She was the first woman to be ordained by Mahavir. Later this “Ajja Chandana” / “Mahasati Chandanbala” became the head ( Acharya ) of a group of 36,000 nuns. Hence #3 is right. This eliminates “C”.
  • Buddha thrice rejected his aged aunt’s implorings to become a nun. At this point, the venerable Ananda intervened to aske the Buddha if women were capable of attaining nirvana, the Buddha’s answer was unhesitatingly affirmative and led immediately the ordination of Gautami, his aunt, as the first member of the Buddhist order of nuns. [Ref: this google book] This means, #4 is right, accordingly answer is “A”.
  • Counter argument: Gautama Buddha was not in favor of ordaining women as nuns, but he did so reluctantly on the repeated requests of his chief disciple, Ananda….. The regulations for nuns were stricter- it was feared that if equality was promised to them, it might lead to indiscipline and immorality… Novices and women were not entitled to vote or to constitute quorum of Sangha. [Ref: Indian History by Krishna Reddy, Page A154].
  • All this points to #4 being wrong / debatable because even if women could attain nirvana, they did not enjoy equal status in the mendicant order of Buddhist monks. This means answer should be “B”.

Q. Consider the following :(CDS-2017-ii)

  1. Tughlaqabad Fort
  2. Bada Gumbad in Lodhi Garden
  3. Qutub Minar
  4. Fatehpur Sikri

Which one of the following is the correct chronological order of building the above monuments?

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


  • Qutub Minar- Built during the time of Qutubuddin Aibak ( 1206-1210). It was completed by Iltutmish. Built in memory of Sufi Saint Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki.
  • Tughlaqabad Fort- Built by Mohammed Bin Tughlaq (1320-25). He captured power from the last king of Khiji dynasty.
  • Bada Gumbad in Lodhi Garden- Bara Gumbad (literally “big dome”) is located in Lodhi Gardens in Delhi, India. It is part of a group of monuments that include a Friday mosque (Jama Masjid) and the “mehman khana” (guest house) of Sikandar Lodhi, the ruler of the Delhi Sultanate. The Bara Gumbad was constructed in 1490 CE, during the reign of the Lodhi dynasty. Its construction is generally attributed to Sikandar Lodhi.
  • Fathepur Sikri- Built by Akbar. Became the capital of Mughal Empire in 1571 by Emperor Akbar, serving this role from 1571 to 1585, when Akbar abandoned it due to a campaign in Punjab and was later completely abandoned in 1610

Even if you don’t know the exact years, it can be solved. Fatehpur Sikri = Akbar, so in chronology, #4 ought to be the last piece. This eliminates A and D. Qutubuddin came before Tughlaq, so 3 ought to come before 1. This is not GuessmastergiriTM, because you needed to have some idea about chronology of Islamic rulers. बिना पढ़े तो प्रीलिम क्लियर नही हो सकती.

Q. Which twelfth century Sanskrit scholar was first responsible for the compilation of ‘Nibandhas’ or digests of epic and Puranic texts?(CDS-2017-ii)

  1. Harsha
  2. Govindachandra
  3. Lakshmidhara
  4. Kalidasa


  • Harsha- Incorrect. He compiled Ratnavali, Nagananda and Priyardarsika.
  • Govindchandra- Incorrect. Eminent Sanskrit scholar Govind Chandra Pande has been awarded the 2003 Saraswati Samman by the K.K. Birla Foundation. So he couldn’t be alive in 12th century
  • Kalidasa- Incorrect. He stayed during in the court of Chandragupta-II. Complied Meghdootam, Abhijnanshakuntalam, Raghuvamsa etc.

Q. Which river is praised in the fifth century Tamil epic, Silappadikaram?(CDS-2017-ii)

  1. Cauvery
  2. Godavari
  3. Saraswati
  4. Ganges

HINT: Tamil epic, the Silappadikaram, was composed by a poet named Ilango, around 1800 years ago. It is the story of a merchant named Kovalan, who lived in Puhar and fell in love with a courtesan named Madhavi, neglecting his wife Kannagi. [NCERT Class6, Ch12]. But it doesn’t mention where exactly is Puhar located, however, this map from NCERT Class12 shows it’s in _ _ _ river’s region.

Alternative strategy is GuessmastergiriTM: Since Tamil epic, so it can’t be Option C and D because they’re rivers of North India. And Godavari = Indra the Tiger’s region (Andhra) whereas question itself says Tamil epic, so it can’t be Option “B”, thus we are left with the correct answer “A”.

Q. Harshacharita has references to various presents sent by a ruler named Bhaskara to Harshavardhana. Bhaskara belonged to(CDS-2017-ii)

  1. Haryanka Dynasty of magadha
  2. Varman Dynasty of Assam
  3. Nanda Dynasty of North India
  4. None of the above

HINT: Harsha established his control over Kashmir and its ruler sent tributes to him. He also maintained cordial relations with Bhaskara Varman, the ruler of Assam. Harsha’s last military campaign. was against the kingdom of Kalinga in Orissa and it was a success. [Ref: Chapter- 10, Harshavardhana, Std 11 Tamilnadu Board , Page 115]

Ancient India

Q. Match List — I with List — II and select the correct answer using the code given below the Lists.(CDS-2017-ii)

Lists-1: Harappan Site

  1. Dholavira
  2. Rakhigarhi
  3. Bhirrana
  4. Bhogavo
List — II: Modern Name

  1. Saurashtra
  2. Hisar
  3. Kadir island
  4. Haryana

Code: A B C D

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


  • Dholavira Kadir Bet Island, Kutch, Gujarat (A:3)
  • Rakhigarhi Hissar, Largest Site Excavated. (B:2)
  • Bhirrana Haryana. Bhirrana was part of a high concentration of settlements along the now dried up mythical Vedic river ‘Saraswati’, an extension of Ghaggar river in the Thar desert. (C:4)
  • Bhogavo- Name of River in Saurashtra. Wadhvan-Surendranagar cities are located on its Bank. Also important as it is part of SAUNI Yojana.(D:1)

Q. Which one of the following statements about the Harappan Culture is not correct?(CDS-2017-ii)

  1. It witnessed the first cities in the subcontinent.
  2. It marks the first use of script, written from right to left.
  3. It marks the earliest known use of iron as a medium for the art of sculpting.
  4. It marks the earliest known use of stone as a medium for the art of sculpting.

HINT: New NCERT Class12 Ch.1 and 2

  • First Cities like Mohejodaro, Lothal, Harappa came into prominence.
  • The script was written from right to left as some seals show a wider spacing on the right and cramping on the left, as if the engraver began working from the right and then ran out of space
  • Stone statue of “Priest king” was found in Mohenjo-daro.
  • growing use of Iron started from the period of Mahajanpada (6th Century BCE).

Harappa Thanos Priest King

Medieval India

Q. Match List-I with List-II and select the correct answer using the code given below the Lists :(CDS-2017-ii)

List-I (Type of Land)

  1. Urvara
  2. Maru
  3. Nadimatrika
  4. Devamatrika
List-II: Meaning

  1. Land watered by a river
  2. Fertile land
  3. Land watered by rain
  4. Desert land


  1. A B C D: 2 1 4 3
  2. A B C D: 3 4 1 2
  3. A B C D: 3 1 4 2
  4. A B C D: 2 4 1 3


  • Urvara- Fertile land- NCERT Standard, 11 Physical Geography, Chapter 6 Soils
  • Maru- Desert land, NCERT Standard, History, Chapter 5 Pastoralists in Modern World
  • Nadimatrika- Land Watered by River, Not given in any standard reference books, but available in this Shodhganga glossary PDF
  • Devamatrika- Land Watered by Rain. Ancient Indian people believed that the Rain god is responsible behind the monsoon showers. Ref: same PDF as above.

It’s possible to solve through word-association type guess-mastergiriTM, provided you’re from the Hindi-belt: Urvarak = fertilizer, Marusthal= desert, Nadi= River. Anyways, Instead of putting this MCQ under “Geography” or “Ancient India” Category, I’ve put it in Medieval India because in past also, such अतरंगी (crazy) Medieval vocabulary had been asked here. e.g. “Pattakila”: king’s representative in the village, and “Mahattama” was the village headmen.

Q. With regard to nature of Mughal State, who among the following scholars argued that “the peculiar feature of the State in Muglial India was that it served not merely as the protective arm of the exploiting classes, but was itself the principal instrument of exploitation”?(CDS-2017-ii)

  1. Irfan Habib
  2. Satis Chandra
  3. Athar All
  4. J. F. Richards

HINT: Irfan Habib in his ‘Agrarian System of Mughal India’ asserted this peculiar feature of the state in Mughal India. Sekhar Bandopaddhya in his book “Plassey to Partition”, has indirectly hinted about this, and cited Irfan Habib’s analysis to prove it.

Q. Which one of the following statements about the Gupta period in Indian history is not correct?(CDS-2017-ii)

  1. Sanskrit language and literature, after centuries of evolution, reached what has been described as a level of classical excellence through royal patronage.
  2. The status of women was redefined. They were entitled to formal education and hence there were women teachers, philosophers and doctors. Early marriage was prohibited by law and they were given the right to property.
  3. Decentralization of administrative authority was impacted by increased grants of land and villages with fiscal and administrative immunities to priests and temples.
  4. land grants paved the way for feudal developments and emergence of selfdom in India, resulting in the depression of the peasantry.

HINT: The position of women had also become miserable during the Gupta period. They were prohibited from studying the religious texts like the Puranas. The subjection of women to men was thoroughly regularized. But it was insisted that they should be protected and generously treated by men. The practice of Swyamvara was given up and the Manusmriti suggested the early marriage for girls. [Ref: Std. 11 Tamil Nadu Board , Chapter 9 Page 105]

Q. Which one of the following statements about the Sayyid brothers during the period of Later Mughals is not true?(CDS-2017-ii)

  1. They brought Jahandar Shah to power
  2. They wielded administrative power.
  3. They followed a tolerant religious policy.
  4. They reached an agreement with King Shahu.

HINT: Jahandar was defeated by his newphew Farukh Siyar (1713). Sayyid brothers (Syed Abdullah Khan and Syed Hassan Ali Khan) played decisive role in the succession of Farukh. [Ref: Indian History by Krishna Reddy, Ch.14: Decline of Mughal empire.]

Q. Which one of the following statements about the Treaty of Allahabad is NOT correct?(CAPF-2017)

  1. It was signed in the year 1765
  2. The Mughal Emperor by a farman formally granted the Diwani of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa to the East India Company
  3. Awadh was restored to its Nawab on payment of Rs.50 Lakhs
  4. Banaras and the Surrounding tracts were detached from Awadh and handed over to Shah Alam II


  • By the Treaty of Allahabad of 1765, Shah Alam granted the Robert Clive / East India Company the diwani (revenue collecting rights) of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa-in other words, absolute control over the lucrative resources of the prosperous Bengal subah.
  • Awadh was restored to Shauja but he had to pay Rs.50 lakhs as war indemnity
  • From Awadh, two districts of Allahabad and Kara were given to Shah Alam-II.

Watch Pratik Nayak’s Youtube Lecture- HFS1/P3: British conquest of Bengal, System of Dual Government, Clive, Mir Jafar

Q. Due to which of the following factors, the Industrial Revolution took place in England in the eighteenth century?(CDS-2017-ii)

  1. The discovery of coal and iron deposits
  2. The discovery of steam power
  3. The introduction of railways
  4. The regular supply of raw materials

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

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

HINT: While world history is not part of Civil services prelim syllabus, I’ve included this MCQ for any indirect help in assertion-reasoning type ‘compared-contrast’ question in history or geography. All four statements are right. Ref: New NCERT Class11: Themes in World History, Chapter 7, The Industrial Revolution

Freedom Struggle

Q. Which of the following active step[s] was /were taken by the Congress in 1923 to eradicate untouchability from India?(CAPF-2017)

  1. Effort to educate and mobilize opinion among caste Hindus
  2. Efforts to educate the ‘avarnas’ about the evils of untouchability
  3. Forcibly open the doors of temples for ‘avarnas’
  4. Petition the Government to pass laws that would declare untouchability unlawful

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

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

HINT: Bipan Chandra: India’s struggle for Independence page 217

  • In 1923 Kakinada session, the Congress decided to take active steps towards the eradication of untouchability. The basic strategy it adopted was to educate and mobilize opinion among caste Hindus on the question. So Statement#1 is right. This eliminates D.
  • In 1923, Kerala Provincial Congress Committee (KPCC) decided to launch an immediate movement to open Hindu temples and all public roads to the avarnas or Harijans …. On 30th March, the Satyagrahis, led by K.P. Kesava Menon, marched from the Satyagraha camp towards the temple. They, as well as the succeeding batches of Satyagrahis, consisting of both savarnas and avarnas, were arrested and sentenced to imprisonment. This means, Congress did not ‘forcibly’ try to open gates. Hence statement#3 is wrong. This eliminates “C”.
  • The problem was particularly acute in Kerala where the depressed classes or avarnas (those without caste, later known as Harijans) were subjected to degrading and dehumanising social disabilities. So, they were the victims and not the perpetrators. Hence Congress need not make efforts to ‘educate’ them about the evils of untouchability. Hence #2 is wrong, this eliminates B and C. Thus we are left with answer “A” only.

To learn more about INC and Freedom struggle, watch Pratik Nayak’s Youtube Lecture- HFS7/P3: Indian National Congress: origin, aims, objectives, safety-valve

Q. Statement I : Nationalism in India, which was assigned a privileged position by its western educated political leadership , was a ‘different’ , but a ‘derivative discourse’ from the west. Statement II : Indian nationalism as a response to western imperialism was ‘like all such responses, shaped by what it was responding to’(CAPF-2017)

  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

HINT: UPSC examiner has lifted both statements verbatim from Plassey to Partition page 185: At one end of the spectrum, Partha Chatterjee would argue that nationalism in India, which was assigned a privileged position by its Western educated political leadership, was a “different”, derivative discourse” from the West. Ashis Nandy also thinks that Indian nationalism as a response to Western imperialism was “like all such responses , shaped by what it was responding to”. But does statement-II explain I?

Q. Statement I :Dadabhai Naoroji argued that what was being drained out was ‘potential surplus’ that could generate more economic development in India if invested in India Statement II : Imperialists believed that India was brought into the large capitalist world marked and that was in itself a progress towards modernization.(CAPF-2017)

  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

HINT: UPSC examiner has lifted both statements verbatim from Plassey to Partition page 123: Indian nationalist Dadabhai Naoroji argued, what was being drained out was “potential surplus” that could generate more economic development if invested in lndia.148 The other imperial argument was that some of this expenditure was to encourage economic development in India in the way it had happened in the West. India was brought into the larger capitalist world market and that was in itself a progress towards modernisation.. So, both the statements are individually true but does #2 explain #1? To lean more about this topic, watch Pratik Nayak’s Youtube Lecture HFS4/P4: Economic Drain of wealth: Poverty & unbritish rule in India

Q. Which one of the following statements about Cripps Mission is NOT correct?(CAPF-2017)

  1. In March 1942, Cripps persuaded War Cabinet to agree to a draft declaration
  2. Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel represented Congress to negotiate with the mission
  3. The mission offered Dominion status after the war
  4. The mission offered formation of constitution making body after the war

HINT: Cripps had been told not to go beyond the Draft Declaration. Moreover, Churchill did not want Cripps to succeed and constantly opposed and sabotaged his efforts to accommodate Indian opinion. Stafford Cripps returned home in the middle of April 1942 leaving behind a frustrated and embittered Indian people. That means “A” couldnot have happened. Watch Pratik Nayak’s Youtube Lecture HFS11/P3: Cripps Mission (1942): Proposals of Post-Dated Cheque

Q. Which among the following was NOT the provision of the Gandhi – Irwin pact?(CAPF-2017)

  1. Immediate release of all political prisoners of the Civil Disobedience Movement
  2. Clause 2 of the March 1931 pact defined ‘reservations and safe guards’ to cover financial credit of India.
  3. The return of confiscated land already sold to third parties
  4. Reservation of 18 percent seats for Depressed classes

HINT: Reservation issues was sorted out via the Poona Pact. Ref: Pratik Nayak’s Youtube Lecture

Q. Which among the following was NOT the recommendation of the Nehru Report?(CAPF-2017)

  1. Dominion Status
  2. Separate Electorate
  3. Unitary and Democratic Centre
  4. Adult Suffrage

HINT: 1928: Morilal Nehru report on the future constitution of India didnot recommend that India should be a federation on the basis of linguistic provinces and provincial autonomy, that elections be held on the basis of joint electorates and that seats in central and provincial legislatures be reserved for religious minorities in proportion to their population.[Ref: Bipan Chandra, page 429] and Watch Pratik Nayak’s Youtube Lecture HFS10/P3: Nehru Report, Simon Commission, Jinnah’s 14 Points for more lucid explanation.

Q. Which one of the following statement about the Indigo Revolt of 1859 is correct?(CAPF-2017)

  1. It broke out at Poona and Ahmadnagar
  2. It was directed against money lenders
  3. It was supported by the Intelligentsia of Bengal
  4. It was directed against the petty Zamindars and ex-employees of the planters

HINT: Leadership for this movement was provided by the more well-off ryots and in some cases by petty zamindars, moneylenders and ex-employees of the planters. A significant feature of the Indigo Revolt was the role of the intelligentsia of Bengal which organized a powerful campaign in support of the rebellious peasantry. It carried on newspaper campaigns, organized mass meetings etc. [Ref: Bipan Chandra, Page 25]

Q. Who was the editor of the journal Indian Social Reformer that was started in 1890?(CDS-2017-ii)

  1. K. T. Telang
  2. Veeresalingam
  3. N. G. Chandavarkar
  4. K. N. Natarajan


  • The Indian Social Reformer was founded in Madras in 1890 by Kamakashi N. Natarajan. Ref: web
  • KT Telang- Kashinath Trimbak Telang was an Indologist and Indian judge at Bombay High Court. He was the originator of the Bombay Presidency Association
  • Sir Narayan Ganesh Chandavarkar was an early Indian National Congress politician and Hindu reformer. He was regarded by some as the “leading Hindu reformer of western India” He was elected the president of the annual session of the Indian National Congress in 1900. The social group he worked with was the Prarthana Samaj (“Prayer Society”).
  • Rao Bahadur Kandukuri Veeresalingam Pantulu ) was a social reformer, writer of Andhra Pradesh. He is considered as the Father of renaissance movement in Telugu.

In CSE-2017, lesser-known freedom fighters had been asked. But then again cost:benefit is pure, even if you feel that such ‘trend’ will continue in CSE-2018 as well.

Q. Which of the following was/were founded by Raja Ram Mohan Roy: 1. Atmiya Sabha, 2. Brahmo Samaj, 3. Prarthana Samaj, 4. Arya Samaj?(CDS-2017-ii)

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


  • In 1815, Raja Rammohan Roy established the Atmiya Sabha. Later, it was developed into the Brahmo Sabha in August 1828. He established the Brahmo Samaj at Calcutta in 1828 in order to purify Hinduism and to preach monotheism.
  • The Arya Samaj was founded by Swami Dayanand Saraswathi at Bombay in 1875. He believed the Vedas were the source of true knowledge. His motto was “Back to the Vedas”. He was against idol worship, child marriage and caste system based on birth.
  • The Prarthana Samaj was founded in 1867 in Bombay by Dr. Atmaram Pandurang. It was an offshoot of Brahmo Samaj. It was a reform movement within Hinduism

Q. Which one of the following peasant struggles was an outcome of British opium policy?(CDS-2017-ii)

  1. Phulaguri Dhawa [1861]
  2. Birsaite Ulgulan [1899- 1900]
  3. Pabna Revolt [1873]
  4. Maratha Peasant Uprising [1875]


  • Phulaguri Dhawa, the peasant uprising against British rule was repressed. Protest against tax in betel nut and pan. The British banned the cultivation of Opium.
  • Birsaite Ulgulan, -Led by Birsa Munda as a reaction against the British rule. It was started as a religious movement and gathered political force to fight agains introduction of feudal, zamindari tenures and exploitation of Mundas by the money lenders and the forest officials.
  • Pabna Revolt- Incorrect. (1873-76): Reason: Zamindars enhanced rents beyond legal limits through a variety of cesses (Abwab), Farmers had to face costly legal affairs and forced eviction. Nuisance of moneylenders. Leaders: Ishwar Chandra Roy, Shambhu Pal, Khoodi Mollah.
  • Maratha Peasant Uprising 1875- Can be linked to the Deccan Riots, where the peasants revolted against the ryotwari and the exploitative system created by the moneylenders.

Q. Where is the world’s first Partition Museum inaugurated recently?(CDS-2017-ii)

  1. New Delhi
  2. Lahore
  3. Amritsar
  4. Islamabad

HINT: Inaugurated at Amritsar on 15th August 2017.

Q. Who among the following was not a member of the Drafting Committee of the Constituent Assembly?(CDS-2017-ii)

  1. N. G. Ayyangar
  2. K. M. Munshi
  3. B. N. Rau
  4. Muhammad Saadulah

HINT: N. Gopalaswamy Ayyangar, Dr K M Munshi and Syed Mohammad Saadullah were members of the drafting Committee, where was Jurist B. N. Rau was constitutional adviser to the assembly; Rau prepared the original draft of the constitution, and was later appointed a judge in the Permanent Court of International Justice in The Hague.

About the Quizmaster

Pratik Nayak History SPIPA

  1. Pratik Nayak is a nationally acclaimed faculty for History, famous for his youtube lecture series on Indian History and World History.
  2. He is the director of Pratik’s Academy for Competitive Exams-PACE. Within the first year of its inception the academy has generated 22+ selections in Gujarat Public service commission exams and 2 Selections for UPSC.
  3. For UPSC/GPSC coaching enquiries visit- www.pratiknayak.com and facebook.com/pratiknayak.in Or call +91 70696 20058/ 079-26763422