History Optional Previous Year Papers are invaluable resources for aspirants preparing for competitive exams, particularly the Civil Services Examination. These papers, drawn from previous years’ question papers, provide candidates with a deep insight into the exam’s pattern, the type of questions asked, and the level of difficulty. They serve as a practical tool for honing one’s historical knowledge, critical thinking, and time management skills. By practicing these papers, candidates can familiarize themselves with the nuances of history as a subject and gain the confidence needed to excel in the examination. Furthermore, analyzing and dissecting previous year papers helps aspirants identify relevant topics, prioritize their study material, and tailor their preparation to meet the specific requirements of the History Optional paper.
Question Paper Specific Instructions
- Please read each of the following instructions carefully before attempting questions :
- There are EIGHT questions divided in two SECTIONS and printed both in HINDI and in ENGLISH.
- Candidate has to attempt FIVE questions in all.
- Questions no. 1 and 5 are compulsory and out of the remaining, THREE are to be attempted choosing at least ONE from each section.
- The number of marks carried by a question / part is indicated against it.
- 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 a medium other than the authorized one.
- Word limit in questions, wherever specified, should be adhered to.
- Illustrate your answers with suitable sketches, maps and diagrams. These shall be drawn in the space provided for answering the question itself.
- 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 Optional Question Paper-1 (2013)
Q1. Identity the following places marked on the outline map in the question-cum-Answer Booklet supplied to you and write short notes of about 30 words on each of them in the space provided in the Booklet. Locational hints for each of the place marked on the map are given below seriatim:- 2.5 × 20 = 50 marks
(i) A Paleolithic and Mesolithic site
(ii) A Mesolithic site
(iii) An important halting place.
(iv) A Pre-Harappan site.
(v) An important Harappan site
(vi) Site of important fossils
(vii) A Seat port
(viii) A Paleolithic site
(ix) A Neolithic, Megalithic a Chalcolithic site.
(x) A Harappan site.
(xi) A Palaeolithic site.
(xii) A Neolithic Site.
(xiii) A Chalcolithic site
(xiv) A Chalcolithic Site
(xv) A site of Buddhist Monastery.
(xvi) Painted Grey Ware site.
(xvii) Site related to a famous Indian Philosopher.
(xviii) Historical Rock cut caves.
(xix) Famous Fort.
(xx) Capital of famous Kingdom
Q2 (a) Evaluate various views regarding human settlements as gleaned from the Vedic sources. 20marks
(b) Discuss the water management and its conservation planning in the Harappan (Indus Saraswati) cities. 20 marks
(c) 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 15 marks
Q3 (a) On the basis of contemporary sources assess the nature of banking and usury in ancient India. 15marks
(b) Social norms for women in the Dharmasastra and Arthasastra tradition were framed in accordance with the Varnashrama tradition. Evaluate critically. 20 marks
(c) “The varna concept may always have been largely a theoretical model and never an actual description of society.” Comment in the context of Ancient India. 15 marks
Q4 (a) Evaluate the contribution of the Puranas is disseminating secular knowledge among masses in ancient India. 15 marks
(b) Evaluate the ownership of land in ancient India on the basis of literary and epigraphic sources. 15marks
(c) Explain as to how the early Buddhist Stupa art, while using folk motifs and narratives and common cultural symbols, succeeded in transforming these themes for expounding the Buddhist ideals. 20marks
SECTION – B
Q5. Write short notes in not more than 150 words on each of the following: – 10 × 5 = 50 marks
(a) Evaluate the Malfuzat texts as sources of medieval history. 10marks
(b) Discuss the state of society and economy of the Bahmani kingdom as gleaned from historical sources. 10 marks
(c) Give a sketch of Indian trade with Europe during the Mughal period.10marks
(d) Analyze the steps taken by Razia Sultan to strengthen her position as an independent ruler despite the various obstacles. 10 marks
(e) Bhakti and mysticism of Lal Deb emerged as a social force in Kashmir. Comment 10 marks
Q6 (a) Evaluate the conditions of industries in India from 1200 — 1500 CE. 20 marks
(b) On the basis of contemporary sources evaluate the system of agriculture and irrigation of the Vijaynagar kingdom. 15 marks
(c) Critically evaluate the educational development during the Sultanate period. 15marks
Q7 (a) On the basis of the accounts of Europeans bring out the agrarian crisis on the 17th century CE India. 20 marks
(b) Evaluate critically the conditions of labour 1200-1500 CE on the basis of historical sources. 15 marks
(c) Discuss and evaluate critically various trends in the historiography of Bhakti. 15marks
Q8 (a) Analyze how the political process of state formation of Mewar from 10th – 15th century CE was challenged in the 16th century CE by the imperialist policy of Akbar. 15 marks
(b) Assess the Lekhapaddhati as an important source for evaluating the society and economy of the thirteenth century CE with special reference to Gujarat. 15 marks
(c) Assess the development of Science and Technology in the Mughal period. 20 marks
History Optional Question Paper-2 (2013)
Q1. Critically examine the following statements in about 150 words each: 10 × 5 = 50 marks
(a) “Duplex made a cardinal blunder in looking for the key of India in Madras: Clive sought and found it in Bengal.”
(b) Swami Vivekananda opined that “We should give our ancient spirituality and culture and get in return Western Science, technology, methods of raising the standard of life, business integrity and technique of collective effort.”
(c) “Ryotwari falls into three stages – early, middle and late, and the only description common to all is that it is mode of settlement with small farmers, so small, indeed, that their average holding is, on recent figures, only about 6.5 acres.”
(d) “Many of us who worked for the Congress programme lived in a kind of intoxication during the year 1921. We were full the excitement and optimism. We had a sense of freedom and a pride in that freedom.”
(e) “Gandhi’s body is in jail but his soul in 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 resist; you must not raise a hand to ward off blows.”
Q2 (a) “Weaving”, says R. C. Dutt, “was the national industry of the people 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. 25 marks
(b) “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 forregarding it as a reformation as there is for treating it as a Renaissance.” Critically examine. 25 marks
Q3 (a) “At the dawn of the twentieth century Lord Curzon, the Viceroy of India, was full of hostility towards the Indian 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. 25 marks
(b) “Thought 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. 25 marks
Q4 (a) “Notwithstanding the quest for modernity and the antagonism that guided Nehru’s attitude towardsthe 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 the industrial growth was bound to break the stranglehold of this feudal
remnant. This, however, did not happen in India”. Examine. 25 marks
(b) “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 at 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 commenting and integrating influence.” Examine. 25 marks
SECTION – B
Q5. Critically examine the following statements in about 150 words each: 10 × 5 = 50 marks
(a) “For Kant, Enlightenment is mankind’s final coming of age, the emancipation of the human consciousness from an immature state of ignorance and error.”
(b) “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.”
(c) “Colonialism not only deprives a society of its freedom and its wealth, but of its very character, leaving its people intellectually and morally disoriented.”
(d) “If the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia (that resulted in the creation of the Union of Soviet 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 the struggle.”
(e) “Decolonization has finished. It definitely belongs to the past. Yet somehow it has refused to become history.”
Q6 (a) “In spite of the careful framing of the Character, the role of UNO as peacekeeper and international mediator has been somewhat lackluster and muted and that continues to be so even after the end of the Cold War.” Elucidate. 25 marks
(b) “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 the ballot box was successfully put in place.” Elaborate. 25 marks
Q7(a)“New imperialism was a nationalistic, not an economic phenomenon.” Critically examine. 25 marks
(b) “By the 1980s the Communist system of the Soviet Union was incapable of maintaining the country’s role as a Superpower.” Elucidate. 25 marks
Q8 (a) “The European Union is the new sick man of Europe”. Critically evaluate. 25 marks
(b) “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 and addressed and our society thoroughly democratized.” Discuss 25 marks
FAQs on History Optional Previous Year Paper
Q: What is the significance of practicing History Optional Previous Year Papers for competitive exams like the Civil Services Examination?
A: Practicing History Optional Previous Year Papers is essential as it allows aspirants to understand the examination’s pattern, question types, and difficulty levels. It helps candidates fine-tune their historical knowledge and analytical skills, boosts confidence, and aids in time management. By solving these papers, candidates can identify their strengths and weaknesses, focus on relevant topics, and tailor their preparation effectively.
Q: How can one access History Optional Previous Year Papers for exam preparation?
A: History Optional Previous Year Papers are readily available in various formats, such as printed books, online PDFs, and study materials from coaching institutes. Aspirants can access these papers from official websites, specialized bookstores, or online platforms dedicated to competitive exam materials. Many educational websites also provide free downloads of these papers, making them easily accessible to candidates.
Q: Are History Optional Previous Year Papers sufficient for exam preparation, or should they be used in conjunction with other study materials?
A: While History Optional Previous Year Papers are crucial for exam preparation, they should not be the sole source of study material. Aspirants should use these papers in conjunction with comprehensive history textbooks, reference books, and study guides to ensure a thorough understanding of historical events and concepts. Combining previous year papers with other resources can help candidates develop a well-rounded knowledge base and better tackle the diverse questions that may appear in the examination.
In case you still have your doubts, contact us on 9811333901.
For UPSC Prelims Resources, Click here
For Daily Updates and Study Material:
Join our Telegram Channel – Edukemy for IAS
- 1. Learn through Videos – here
- 2. Be Exam Ready by Practicing Daily MCQs – here
- 3. Daily Newsletter – Get all your Current Affairs Covered – here
- 4. Mains Answer Writing Practice – here