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Medieval History1. Political & Social Conditions (800 — 1200 A.D.)

This chapter is not so important for C.S. Prelims and one question is asked from this topic. Generally the questions are based on the social conditions of this period. Actually in Civil Services much stress is not given on political history. The kings, their political achievements, battles etc. have become a forgotten conclusion.The social condition of people were poor The social condition of people were poor The history now has become a history of the masses. The historians are busy in finding the reality. And the setters are following the same path. The questions are asked from that portion which is a matter of interest for all. As this was the transition period, questions are generally centred on that philosophy.

The UPSC may change its pattern, so it is advisable to cover up the political history also. 

From 1990 to 2022 the questions were: 

  • The Gujara king and other are said to have worked as doorkeepers in the Hiranyagarbha sacrifice performed by Didda, the queen of Kashmir ruled in the ............... ?
  • The celebrated author Kshemendra lived in ............... ?
  • The Chandella dynasty was founded by ............... ?
  • One question was about Alberuni's division of caste, which Chalukya ruler transferred his Capital from Malkhed to Kalyani ............... ?
  • In 2012, a question was asked on Sock cut architecture.
  • In 2015, there was a question on Medieval India's states like Champaka, Durgara and Kuluta associated with present region. 
  • In medieval India, the term “Fanam” referred to.....................

We have tried to cover the chapter  according to the syllabus. Before going through this material, you just finish this topic given in the NCERT book which will help you in consolidating the base. Generally the students get confused in this chapter because of so many dynasties and so many battles. Do not confuse, make different chamber in your mind for different empires and their activities. We are here with you.

2. The Delhi Sultanate

This is one of the most important chapter of Medieval history. Generally questions are asked from this topic. 

From 1987 to 2022 the questions were: 

  • The first to abolish Jaziya was ............... ?
  • The highest land revenue (50%) was under ............... ?
  • Commercial horticulture was popularized by ............... ?
  • Slopping style of Architecture was introduced by ............... ?
  • What is correct about Alauddin Khilji’s land revenue?
  • What was the new currency introduced by Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq? 
  • Iqta was introduced to ............... ?
  • Arrange chronologically: Ibn Battutah, AlBeruni, Marco Polo ? 
  • What was Alauddin Khilji’s main objective behind introducing economic reforms ?
  • Which region was best served by the irrigation system of Firuz Tughlaq? 
  • The Delhi Sultan who introduced Plebian elements in his nobility was ............... ?
  • Those who were strongly opposed to the interference of the Ulama in the affairs of the state were ............... ?
  • Who ordered the translation of a large number of Hindu religious works from Sanskrit to Persian ?
  • Consider the following statements:
    • It was during the reign of Iltumish that Chengiz Khan reached the Indus in pursuit of the fugitive Khwarezm prince. 
    • It was during the reign of Muhammad bin Tughluq that Taimur occupied Multan and crossed the Indus. 
    • It was during the reign of Deva Raya II of Vijayanagara Empire that Vasco da Gama reached the coast of Kerala. (Choose the correct ones)
  •  Consider the following statements:
    • In the revenue administration of Delhi Sultanate, the in-charge of revenue collection was known as ‘Amil’.
    • The Iqta system of Sultans of Delhi was an ancient indigenous institution.
    • The office of ‘Mir Bakshi’ came into existence during the reign of Khalji Sultans of Delhi. (Which of the statements given above is/are correct?)

The Sultanate of Delhi 1206 - 1526The Sultanate of Delhi 1206 - 1526

  • The first Sultan who introduced a purely Arabic coinage and adopted standard coins the silver Tanka was ............... ? 
  • Who asserted, “Kingship knows no Kinship”? 
  • Who built largest number of irrigation canal? 
  • A system of revenue assessment based on measurement of land was introduced during the Sultanate period by ............... ?
  • Which one of the following Iqtas was held by Sultan Iltutmish as its Muqta immediately before his accession? 
  • Amir Khusrau's Khamain-ulFutuh gives an account of the military campaigns of ............... ?
  • Who introduced a rural tax called Haqq-i-Sharb ?
  • Who was Kismat-i-Khote ? 
  • The military who was directly in the Imperial Services was called ............... ?
  • The Amir in the service of Sultan Nasiruddin Mahmud who lost service through Balban's intrigue was ............... ?
  • During medieval period the designations 'Mahattara' and 'Pattakila' were used for ............... ?

We see that the questions are generally from the administration and the agrarian conditions and sometimes from the good works done by the rulers. So it will be wise for you to concentrate yourself more on the administrative changes, agrarian structure, the achievement of the rulers (negative or positive) in any sphere, may be architecture too. The work of five rulers like Iltutmish, Balban, Alauddin Khilji, Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq and Firuz Tughlaq should be covered properly.

3. Provincial Dynasties Of North India & DeccanThis is the least important chapter of Medieval India for C.S. Prelims. Go through the chapter twice and we feel that would be sufficient. One, in two-three years, question is asked from this chapter.

Remember : Three chapters are most important in Medieval India and they are: Delhi Sultanate, Vijaynagar Empire and the Mughal Empire. 

Nowadays, the chapter ‘Religious Movements in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries’ and Cholas are is getting recognition. You need to do strategic studies. You cannot do everything, neither is it useful to do so. 

  • Firstly, you should broadly have a flavour of the whole syllabus and the questions asked in the past few years. 
  • The next step is to choose the important chapters from it and concentrate yourself on it.
  • Finally pick up the facts and retain it in your mind.

4. The Vijayanagar Empire

The foundation of the empire of Vijayanagar in 1336 constitutes a great event in South India in particular and the history of India in general. It was founded as a result of the political and cultural movement against the Tughlaq authority in the South.

Probably due to the above causes this chapter has become important in the eyes of the question setters. Generally questions are asked from this topic. Let us first see the trends of questions in the previous years.

Extent of Kingdoms in South India Extent of Kingdoms in South India 

From 1998 to 2022  the questions were: 

  • The Ayagar system was prevalent in the  ............... 
  • In the Vijayanagar empire, What were the amarams? 
  • The Vijayanagar Empire was divided into provinces each having as its head a  ............... 
  • Arrange them chronologically: Mandala, Nadu, Kottam 
  • The foreign visitors to the Vijayanagar testify to the fact that,  Sayana and Madhava Vidyaranya flourished under  ...............  and Which of the following is the correct statement regarding the land tenure in Vijayanagar?
  • Which of the following has written a contemporary account of the Vijayanagar Empire?, 
  • Krishnadeva Raya was the ruler of the Vijayanagar Empire between  ............... 
  • The principal governors of the Vijaynagar empire was known as Main commercial port in the southern coast of Vijayanagar empire was ............... 
  • Who wrote Amuktamalayada? 
  • In 2015, Who founded a new city on the south bank of a tributary to river Krishna ?
  • According to Portuguese writer Nuniz, the women in the Vijayanagara empire were expert in ....................

Seeing the trend of questions we can come to the conclusion that the questions are asked generally from the administration and the society. So it will be wise to concentrate yourself on the Vijayanagar administration and the social condition. 

The accounts of the foreign travellers, their arrivals (chronologically), achievements of Krishnadeva Raya and the cultural and artistic achievements of the period should also be prepared. Do not believe in duplicate keys. Be confident, because this is the real key to success.

5. Indo-Islamic Culture

The coming of Islam to India brought in its wake a unique mingling of cultural traditions, resulting in the growth of a composite culture. Evidence of this cultural contact is evident in the architecture, painting, literature and music; it is also to be seen in the religious field.

Many of the characteristics of Indian architecture are obvious in the buildings of the Muslim rulers, for though designed by Muslim architects, Hindu craftsmen actually built them.

  • The new features brought by Turkish conquerors were:
    (i) The dome
    (ii) Lofty towers
    (iii) The true arch and the vault
    (iv) Use of concrete and mortar
  • The Khilji monuments show a rich decorative character. The Tughlaq buildings show stark simplicity and sobriety. The Sultanate painting shows an attempt to arrive at a fusion of the newly introduced Persian and Indian traditional styles.Indo - Islamic Architeture 
    Indo - Islamic Architeture 
  • Many of the illustrated manuscripts shows the influence of Jain and Rajasthani painting style. Out of the Sultanate painting tradition emerged three major substyles: Mughal, Rajasthani and Deccani schools. We find this fusion in literature and music also. 
  • A good example of the union of the two cultures was the evolution of the Urdu language. This was originally called Zaban-iHindi. No separate preparation is required for this chapter. 
  • When you read the chapter Delhi Sultanate from any good book you just keep the thought of this chapter in the back of your head. We have given separate informations because we are following the syllabus. Remember one thing, history is a continuous process.

6. Mughal Empire

This is the most important chapter of Medieval history. The Mughal Age is famous for many faceted developments and has been called the ‘Second Classical Age’, the first being the Gupta Age in northern India. From this chapter generally questions are asked. Let us see some previous years’ questions. Extent of Mughal EmpireExtent of Mughal Empire

From 1987 to 2022 the questions were: 

  • Todar Mal’s system of land revenue was borrowed by  ............... 
  • The court language of Mughals was, Dara Shikoh lost to Aurangzeb because  ............... 
  • Akbar’s Rajput policy can best be described as one of  ............... 
  • Buland Darwaza was built by Akbar to  ............... 
  • Treaty of Purandar was concluded between ............... 
  • Adi Granth was compiled by ...............  
  • Dal Khalsa was started by  ............... 
  • A question regarding Buland Darwaza has been asked. You have to choose the correct statements out of the two statements provided.

We are counting the questions of Sikh history with this chapter because it was the Mughal-Sikh conflict or it can come under the heading Mughal-Sikh relation. The questions on the repressive measures of the Mughals are generally avoided. It may be because Mughals are not supposed to be alien people. They are now one of the constituents of Indian society. 

  • Jama Masjid at Delhi was built by  ............... 
  • Portrait painting reached in height under  ............... 
  • Pietra Dura was used by  ...............  
  • What was Din-i-Illahi? 
  • Which  was not borrowed by Akbar from Sher Shah Suri’s land revenue system?
  • Bernier visited India during the reign of  ............... 
  • Which of the following Mughal emperors was referred to as ArshAshiani after his death?
  • Which of the following was an independent kingdom at the time of Aurangzeb’s death?
  • During the reign of Jahangir, a new dimension was added to the Mughal paintings with the portrayal of  ............... 
  • Portrait painting reached its highest water mark during the reign of  ............... 
  • The mansabdars, who were placed in six-months scale by Shah Jahan, were required to  ............... 
  • Which one of the following Mughal princes is credited with maintaining an album of Mughal painting  ...............
  • Sher Shah Suri took only one-fourth of the produce as land tax in  ............... 
  • Sher Shah Suri's mausoleum at Sasaram is  ...............  
  • The Mughals lost out Qandahar to the Safavids forever in  ............... 
  • Total Mughal subahs in 1605 was  ............... 
  • What was Jami Paimudah in revenue administration?
  • What was Kartaz? 

In 2014, there was a question on Ibadata Khana of Fatehpur Sikri. In 2015, the arrival of Babur into India led to- Introduction of gunpowder, arch and dome, Timurid dynasty or what.

From the past thirty years’ questions we come to know that more emphasis has been given on the following sub-heads:
(i) Nature of Mughal administration
(ii) Provincial administration
(iii) Land revenue
(iv) Architecture
(v) Painting
(vi) Literature
(vii) Foreign Travellers
(viii) Achievements of Akbar, Jahangir, Shah Jahan and Dara Sikh.
Sometimes there used to be questions on the imperialistic attitude of the rulers.
So you should concentrate yourself only on the above sub-heads. Please do not get confused. It is your only enemy.

7. Beginning Of European Commerce
This chapter is important for C.S. Prelims. From this topic questions are asked regularly. The beginning of European commerce was a bridge between India’s medieval commercial affluence and the colonial deprivations and the resultant poverty during nearly two centuries-long British rule in India. 

From the very beginning, the European trading companies began to establish their fortified trading  settlements, called factories, on the coastal parts of India, immune from the administrative control of the local powers. In course of time the commercial motives turned into territorial ambitions, which pushed India into the jaws of the colonial dragon. Let us see the trends of question. 

From 1987 to 2022 the questions were: 

  • Which French General in India was recalled for trying to act independently? 
  • Arrange chronologically the advent of the colonial powers in India.
  • Portuguese dominions in India were greatly increased. 
  • Which act abolished the economic monopoly of the English East India Company? 
  • Albuquerque conquered Goa in 1510 from the ruler of ........... 

The questions were on the chronological order in which the British established their trading centres, and one matching question was there. Seeing the trend we can say that there can not be any uniform way of preparation. You have to develop cramming habit. Rely on micro informations. We are describing the various stages of the growth of the European commerce in India-individually of the Portuguese, the Dutch, the English, and the French.

8. Maratha Kingdom And Confederacy

  • The rise of the Marathas under Shivaji gave a severe jolt to the glory of the Mughals. In the next half century most of the military resources of the Mughal empire had to be deployed against the Marathas: so much so that the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb had to spend the last twenty five years of his reign in the Deccan desperately fighting the Marathas. The nearly half-century-long struggle against the Marathas proved disastrous for the Mughal empire. 
Extent of Maratha KingdomExtent of Maratha Kingdom
  • Four generations of the great Mughals, from Akbar to Aurangzeb, had spent the resources of the empire in establishing their hegemony over the Deccan, but when it became a near reality, the Marathas washed all their achievements in the latter half of the seventeenth century. They emerged as the most formidable power in India, till they were decisively defeated in the Third battle of Panipat in 1761. 
  • Now we will discuss about the questions.Generally the questions are not asked from the earlier phase of the Maratha history. Sometimes there is questions from the earlier phase but it is only on the administration, revenue system, military organization, etc. Reason for not asking questions from the earlier period may be the same as the Mughal-Sikh one discussed in the intro of the Mughal empire chapter. 
  • The later phase of the period is important because of the Peshwaship and the Third battle of Panipat. Actually Panipat paved the way for the rise of the British power which became a paramount power in India. 

Questions are asked from the administration under the Peshwas, their political history, Maratha-British conflicts, and on the people related to the battle of Panipat. 

Focus your attention on the important points of the earlier and later phase of the Maratha period.

Modern History1. The Decline of Mughal Empire And The Rise Of Autonomous States

The decline of the Mughal empire was neither sudden nor surprising. Several defects inherent in the very organisation of the Mughal empire led to its decline and disintegration which was a long-drawn agony for the rulers as well as the ruled.
Shortly after Aurangzeb‘s death in 1707, the imposing edifice of the Mughal empire fell asunder and the living bond between the central power and the provinces was dissolved. 

Ultimately when the unifying and life giving centres became defunct, the parts fell off. The provinces farthest from the capital were the first to be lost to the empire, either by declaring their independence under one of their own dynasties or by being conquered by a foreign power. 

To this period of disintegration can be traced the origin of nearly all the great local principalities which the English found when they first tried to dominate the Indian political scene.

  • The first part of the topic i.e., the Decline of the Mughal empire is less important than the second part, The Rise of the Autonomous States. Questions are asked more from the second part than the first. Sometimes we do not find any question from this topic. From the first part the questions are generally asked about the Sayyid brothers, the chronology of the later Mughals, relation with the Britishers, Farrukhsiyar‘s reign, the powerful nobles, and Nadir Shah etc. 
  • From the second part questions are asked from Punjab and Avadh, sometimes Mysore is also included. The most important is Ranjit Singh, his administration and relation with the British. Secondly it is Saadat Jung and Safdarjung. Thirdly it is Tipu Sultan. Anything peculiar to any personality is important for prelims. 

Remember that the personality whose works benefited the masses, in any way, should be treated as very important. Try to familiarise yourself with that personality.

2. The East India Company And The Bengal Nawabs

This chapter is very important for so many reasons.The beginnings of British political sway over India may be traced to the Battle of Plassey in 1757, when the English East India.Battle of PlasseyBattle of Plassey

Company‘s forces defeated Siraj-udDaulah (Nawab of Bengal). In less than two decades the actual power in Bengal was transferred from the nawabs of Bengal to the East India Company and this richest and industrially most advanced province of India was reduced to acute poverty and misery, which was further aggravated by famines and epidemics. 

The capture of Bengal opened the floodgates of British colonialism and imperialism in India, reducing the rich economy of the country to a colonial economy.
Generally, questions are asked from this chapter. 

From 1987 to 2022 the questions were: 

  • Who demanded Diwanis of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa ?
  • What period was characterised by Dual Government in Bengal ? 
  • The capital of Nawab of Bengal before 1757 was ................ 
  • Which Act abolished the economic monopoly of the English East India Company ?
  • Who elected Governor-General of Bengal ?  
  • The Bengal Nawab who fought the Bargi raids was  ................ 
  • The Dastak system, which the British adopted in the initial stages of their expansion, was related to the, It has been the habit of historians to enter into lengthy diatribes upon this (taking presents) subject.It is indeed perfectly undeniable that officers should not accept gifts from other than employers, the comment was made by  ................ 
  • Which of the following were responsible for the famine of 1770 in Bengal ? 
  • Which city was renamed Alinagar after its capture by Siraj-ud-Daula in 1756 ? 
  • The abuses of the dastaks in Bengal by the officials of the East India Company led to an estrangement of its relationship with Clive. Nawab introduced dual government in Bengal because Treaty of Allahabad was concluded by  ................ 
  • First state who trained the military on the European line was  ................ 
  • Why the East India company started to use the words “Investment in India”?, 
  • With reference to Indian history, consider the following statements:
    • The Dutch established their factories/warehouses on the east coast on lands granted to them by Gajapati rulers.
    • Alfonso de Albuquerque captured Goa from the Bijapur Sultanate.
    • The English East India. Company established a factory at Madras on a plot of land leased from a representative of the Vijayanagara empire. Choose the correct ones
  •  In the first quarter of the seventeenth century, the factory/factories of the English East India Company located at............

The pattern of questions are more or less the same.

3. British Economic Impact In India

India had emerged as the industrial workshop of the world before the advent of the Europeans. Despite her predominantly agricultural economy, a variety of other industries also flourished in India.

Birth Economic Impact Birth Economic Impact 

Defoe, the writer of the famous novel, Robinson Crusoe, complained that Indian cloth had “crept into our houses, our closets and bed chambers; curtains, cushions, chairs, and at last beds themselves were nothing but calicos or Indian stuffs”. The foreign conquest of the country started the process which culminated in the transformation of India`s economy into a colonial economy. The British manufacturers put pressure on their government to restrict and prohibit the sale of Indian goods in England. By 1720 laws had been passed forbidding the wear or use of printed or dyed cotton cloth.

By the end of the 18th century, British rule had been established in large parts of the country and had come to stay. Britain, therefore, came to look upon India as her colony which had to be developed in the imperial interest. India was to be turned into a market for British goods and exporter of raw materials and food stuffs to feed Britain`s industries and her people. 

This policy thwarted economic growth and resulted in economic stagnation. This fine country which flourished under the most despotic and arbitrary Government, was verging towards its ruin. One-third of the national capital was taken away by the British in some form or the other. Drain of wealth was the evil of all evils and the main cause of Indian poverty. Sometimes the figures regarding the drain of wealth are asked.

  • Question on land revenue, land settlement of Cornwallis, are asked time and again, in 2011 a question was on Home charges, in 2012 contribution of Naroji to the cause of Indian national Movement was asked. Actually it was he who propounded the drain of wealth theory.
  • In 2012, there was a question on Ryotwari settlement, even in 2017 there was question on Ryotwari settlement and the persons associated with it, other questions were, The Trade Disputes Act of 1929 provided for, The factory Act 1881 was passed with a view to and N.M. Lokhande was a pioneer in organising the labour movement in British India. 

A serious reading of the chapter is advisable.

4. The Revolt of 1857 

The Revolt of 1875The Revolt of 1875

The Revolt of 1857 was the most formidable challenge the British empire had to face in India. It is a matter of speculation as to what the course of history would have been had the rebels succeeded.

Despite the sepoy’s limitations and weaknesses, their effort to emancipate the country from foreign rule was a patriotic act and a progressive step. Even in failure it served a grand purpose: a source of inspiration for the national liberation movement which later achieved what the Revolt could not.

So, this is the chapter par excellence. We see that before 1990 there were less questions from this chapter. But from 1990 onwards we find questions regularly from this chapter. From 1987 till date the questions were: 

  • Who was the first to call 1857 Mutiny as India’s First War of Independence? 
  • One of the centres of 1857 Mutiny was ...............
  • The Santhal rebellion of 1855-56 was against ...............
  • The following are some of the places where the revolt of 1857 broke out:
    (i) Lucknow
    (ii) Kanpur
    (iii) Barrackpore IV Delhi.
    Arrange the above places chronologically, Which one of the following was not a consequence of the Revolt of 1857?
  • The leader of the Kuka Movement against the British was ............... 
  • Arrange the following chronologically: Birsa Munda, Sidhu, Azimullah Khan, Jito Mir 
  • What is the sequence of the following events?
    (i) Annexation of Oudh
    (ii) Abolition of Peshwa’s pension
    (iii) Pensioning off the Rani of Jhansi
  • Arrange the following revolts chronologically: Kacha Nagas, Mundas and Thakore 
  • Who among the following were the sons and grandsons of Bahadur Shah II and played a prominent role in the Rebellion of 1857 and were captured and shot ?
  • Baba Ram Chandra organised peasants in  ...............

One question was based on assertion and reasoning and the other was of matching type. Only one question was asked based on matching. Presently, the questions from this chapter are of matching type, on chronological sequence, and statements, and to answer the questions you have to go into the minutest details of causes, course of events (chronological), personalities, their deeds and last but not the least the thinkers.

This chapter is not complete in itself. Before going through this chapter it is advisable to read the NCERT book and the book on ‘Freedom Struggle’ of Bipin Chandra.

5. Social And Cultural Awakening The Lower Caste, Trade Union And Peasants Movements

  • The spirit of reform embraced almost the whole of India beginning with the efforts of Raja Ram mohan Roy in Bengal leading to the formation of the Brahma Samaj in 1828. The cultural-ideological struggle, represented by the socio-religious movements, was an integral part of the evolving national consciousness. This was so because it was instrumental in bringing about the initial intellectual and cultural break which made a new vision of the future possible. 
  • Second, it was a part of the resistance against colonial cultural and ideological hegemony. Out of this dual struggle evolved the modern cultural situation: new men, new homes and a new society.
  • Generally three or four questions are asked from this topic. The questions use to be very simple and direct. From 1980 till now we do not see any drastic change of pattern of questions. 
  • One thing is clearly visible and that is the second part of the chapter “The Lower castes, Trade Union and Peasant Movement” is getting more space than the Social-cultural movements. Even the least important movement like the peasant movement against the Udaipur Maharana is noticed in the question paper. So the history of the bottom is as important as the history of the top. Prepare the second part of the chapter more minutely than the first one. 
  • In 2011, a question on Tribunal insurrection in the 19th century was asked.
  • In 2012, there was a question on Brahmo Samaj.
  • In 2013, there was a question on Tebhaga peasant movement movement in Bengal.
  • In 2016, Keshab Chandra Sen was associated with which committee, Satya Sodhak Samaj was organised by Bipin Chandra in his book `Freedom Struggle’ has discussed the second part at length. You can consult that book, too
  • From 2017- 2022 following questions has been asked from this topic :
    • . In 1920 “Swarajya Sabha” changed its name to...........

6. The Freedom Struggle

The Indian national movement was basically the product of the central contradiction between colonialism and the interests of the Indian people. It was the movement’s scientific anti-colonial ideology which became the prime mover in its anti-imperialist struggle. 

Certain other ideological elements constituted the broad socio-economic-political vision of the Indian national movement—this was that of bourgeois or capitalist independent economic development and a secular, republican, democratic, civil libertarian political order, both the economic and political order to be based on principles of social equality.
It was left to the national movement to fight for democracy and to internalize and indigenize it, that is to root it in the Indian soil. 

From 2011 onwards pattern of question has changed. You have to go to the minutest details. 

  • In 2011, the question from this topic were: The book 'Unto this last' changed Mahatma Gandhi's life, What moral he learnt from that book, Usha Mehta is well known for points discussed in the Nehru Report, on Quite India movement of 1942, Kheda Satyagraha
  • In 2012, the questions were: The Rowlatt Act aimed at, about Lahore Session of INC (1929).
    The Congress Ministries resigned in the seven provinces in 1939 because, principal features of government of India Act 1919, which parties were established by B.R. Ambedkar, Gandhi's fast into death in 1932. 
  • In 2013, Why agitation for the arrival of Simon Commission. Quite India Movement was launched in response to etc. about Annie Besant and her activities, etc. 
  • In 2014, The partition of Bengal made by Curzopn in 1905 lasted until, the 1929 Session of INC is significant because, the Ghadar was as.
  • In 2015, The Government of India Act of 1919 clearly defined, first woman and first Muslim President of INC, which has contributed to the split of INC, a question on Rowaltt Act.
  • In 2016, The 'Swadeshi' and 'boycott' was adopted as methods of struggle for the first time during, The Montague-Chelms ford proposals were related to, reason for the split of Indian nation Congress at Sarat in in 1907, Cripss Plan envisaged. 
  • In 2017, The object of the Butler Committee 1927 was Radhakanta Deb, G.L. Chetty S.N. Banerjee and their associations, the principal of dyarchy refer to, Chronological sequence of mutiny of Royal Indian Navy, Quite India Movement and Second Round Table conference
  • In 2018, a question regarding Champaran Satyagraha has been asked.
  • In 2019, there was a question on Swadeshi movement .
  • In 2020, questions on Gandhi Irwin pact, Indigo Revolution etc. has been asked.
  • In 2021, questions have been on activities of Annie Besant, Freedom rulerr
  • In 2022, a question on Cripps have been asked and also about the government of India act 1919.

You have to read separately the following heads also. Questions come from these heads. Special material on the topic have been given in the end of the book.
Governors and Governor Generals  Pre-Congress Nationalist Organisations India Under the viceroys Revolutionary Organisations Famines Important organisations and parties Leftist organisations and Parties Labour and Trade Union Organisations Changes in Government Policies Important Battles Books, Journals and Newspapers Growth of modern Education Evolution of British Indian administration Structure of Colonial government Civil Services Constitutional Development Important Commissions and Committees European Trading Companies and Settlements Tribal, non-tribunal and peasant movements

For Civil Services, this is the most important chapter. Generally 6-7 questions are asked from this topic. You may get only 1 or 2 direct questions. To make the questions complex, few right options with one wrong one is given. You have to identify it. Some multiple choices are given of which two or three are correct. You have to be very careful in choosing the right option. 

For answering these type of questions only objective knowledge of the chapter is not enough. Much emphasis is given on chronology and matching type questions these days. So, nothing can be left or it is not advisable to be selective. A complete preparation of the chapter is needed and for that an extensive reading is very much necessary.

The document Changing Trends of Questions in UPSC Prelims: History- 2 - Notes | Study History for UPSC CSE - UPSC is a part of the UPSC Course History for UPSC CSE.
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Semester Notes


past year papers




Objective type Questions


shortcuts and tricks






video lectures


Important questions


mock tests for examination


Sample Paper


Changing Trends of Questions in UPSC Prelims: History- 2 - Notes | Study History for UPSC CSE - UPSC