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History for UPSC (Civil Services) Prelims

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Biswa Singh- was the founder of the Koch Kingdom with modern Cooch Behar as his capitai in about 1515. The line of Kings founded by him in Cooch Behar lasted till modern times.

Bithal Dasson of the famous Vaishnava saint,Vallabhacharya ( born 1479 ) was not only his father's successor to the headship of the sect founded by him ,but was also a reputed Hindi author who wrote the Chaurasi Vaishnava ki-varta.

Bogle,Georgean officer under the East India Company in Bengal, was sent in 1774 by Warren Hastings , the Governor - General, on what was the first English mission to Tibet for obtaining trade facilities. He had little success.

Boonc, Charles- Governor of Bombay ( 1715 - 22 ), built a wall round the city of Bombay and increased the number of the armed ships of the Company stationed at the port in order to strengthen the defences of its factories and trade.

Bose, Ananda Mohan ( 1847 - 1906 )was a prominent Indian  public man in his times. Born of a middle - class Hindu Bengali family in the district of Mymensingh he was educated at Presidency College, Calcutta, graduating with a First Class First in Mathematics in 1867, won the Premchand Roychand Scholarship and was the first Indian to be a Wrangler of Cambridge University in 1873. In 1874 he was called to the Bar and on his return to India he devoted his versatile genius to the service of his country till the end of his life as a politician , educationist and religious reformer .
He was the first founder - Secretary of the Indian Association which was established in Calcutta in 1876 and took a prominent part in convening the first session of the Indian  National Conference in Calcutta in 1883 and thus showed the way to the organisation of the Indian National Congress which had its first session in 1885 .
He was a prominent Congress-man all his life and presided over its fourteenth session held in Madras in 1898 . 
He was closely associated with the Anti-Partition movement in Bengal and was one of the earliest to suggest the Swadeshi movement which aimed at developing and promoting indigenous industries to the exclusion of foreign products . His last public act was the laying of the foundation stone of the Federation Hall in Calcutta on October 16, 1905, just a few months before his death . 
He encouraged the expansion of education in his country and City College in Calcutta and Ananda Mohan College at Mymensingh still bear witness to his work as an educationist. He was supremely religious minded and was a rationalist in his outlook. 
Early in his life he accepted Brahmanism, took a prominent part in the development of the Brahma movement in Bengal and was the first President of the Sadharan Brahma Samaj which owes its democratic organisation to him.

Brahmanapal- a grandson of King Jaipal and son of Anandapal of the Hindu Shahiya dynasty of Udbhandapur ( Waihand ) in the north-western frontier of India, led in A.D.1008 the army of his father against Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni at the battle of Waihand but was defeated in the battle and perished.

Brahmavarta( or the land of the Gods ) denoted the area lying between the rivers Saraswati and Dreshdvati, both of which are now lost and cannot be precisely identified .

Barhuis, the-form a small people in Baluchistan .They speak the Dravidian language and their present existence and residence suggest that the Dravidian people who are now mainly confined to the Deccan, once inhabited the whole of India and left a small remnant in Baluchistan on their way presumably to Mesopotamia.

Brasyer , Captaina military officer in the service of the East India Company, showed great bravery and resources in holding with a small force of the Sikhs the fort of Allahabad against the because they are untruth.

  • The Brahma Purana, a work of the Gupta period, declares that members of the first three varnas should perform the ceremonies of bathing and muttering of prayers according to the Vedic methods, but women and Shudras cannot perform these ceremonies accordingly.
  • According to the Sankhayana Grihyasutra it was not permissible to recite the Veda in the neighbourhood of a Shudra or a woman that had her courses.
  • The Brihatsamhita, a work of about the sixth century A.D. declares that the eclipse which take place as a result of the sun and the moon having rise one-sixth brings calamity to the woman and Shudra.
  • Manu and Yajnavalkya hold that a woman is never independent. While unmarried the father protects her, when married the husband protects her, and in the old age the son protects her.
  • According to the Dharmashastras one of the requisites for a valid marriage was that both the bride and the bridegroom should belong to the same caste.
  • Commenting on a passage of the Asvalayana mutinous sepoys in May-June, 1857 till he was relieved on the 11th June by a British force led by Neill.

Dr. Brydon- was a surgeon attached to the British army that invaded Afghanistan during the First Afghan War ( 1839-42 ). His regiment was utterly routed and he was the only survivor who reached Jalalabad, severeely wounded and utterly exhausted, on January 13,1942,to tell the British garrison there the painful story of the British defeat at the hands of the Afghans.

Buddewalwas the scene of a skirmish on 21st January,1846, in which a British army led by Sir Harry Smith was defeated by the Sikhs, just a week before the latter's defeat at Aliwal.

Burana leader of the Pindaries, played a prominent part in their depredations from 1812 till their suppression in 1818. He was killed in action during the campaign against the Pindaries organised by Lord Hastings in 1817-18.

Butler , Dr Fanny-The first English female physician to come to India and to practise medicine , arrived in 1860 and set up a new ideal  of service which could be renderd by women .

Butler , Sir Harcourt- was a member of the Viceroy's Executive Council and, later on , became in succession the Governor of the United Provinces and of Burma . He was known as a capable administrator and was appointed in 1972 the Chairman of the Indian States Committee that was set up by the Secretary of State for investigating the relationship between the Paramount Power and the Indian states . The Committee submitted the Report in 1929.

Caillaud, Colonel John- was the commander of the Company's troops in Bengal in 1760. He entered into the intrigue of Vansittart for replacing Nawab Mir Jafar with Mir Kasim, and , acting under the orders of Vansittart, entered Murshidabad with an army, occupied the Nawab's palace and thus practically forced Nawab Mir Jafar to abdicate.Thereafter Mir Kasim was declared Nawab of Bengal.

Calcutta Journal, the- was printed and published by an English journalist , named John Silk Buckingham. He was expelled from the country by the government of John Adams, the offciating Governor-General in 1823 and the Calcutta Journal ceased publication.

Carmichaei, Lord- was the first Governor of Bengal ( 1912-16 ) after it was constituted into a Governor's province separated from Bihar as well as Assam.

Caron, Francois- was the founder of the first French factory in India. Sent by the French East India Company he came to the Indian coast with a small French fleet in 1667 and founded a factory at Surat.

Chaitanya Charitamrita- is the most important biography of Chaitanya. It was written by Krishnadas Kaviraj who was born in the district of Burdwan ( Bengal )in 1517.

Chamnda Raja- was a minister of a king of the Ganga dynasty who ruled over Mysore. By his order was  built a colossal statue of Gomata, 56-  feet in height, wrought out of a block of gneiss on the top of a hill at Sravana Belgola. The statue is unrivalled in the world for its daring conception and gigantic dimensions.

Chandra, Raja- mentioned in the Meherauli Iron Pillar inscription,is said to have defeated his enemies in Vanga on one side and on the other the Vahlikas at the mouths of the Indus.The identity of the king is not definitely settled .A king named Chandra is also mentioned in the Susunia inscription .

Charnock, Job- was the chief of the East India Company's settlement on the Hughli.On the invitation of Nawab Ibrahim Khan,who succeeded Shaista Khan as the Subadar of Bengal,Job Charnock chose the site of modern Calcutta and there laid its humble foundation on 24 August, 1690. 
Next year he got from the Nawab a firman granting the English exemption from the payment of customs duties in return for a payment of Rs. 3000 a year.

Chedi- was the name of the region lying between the Jumna and the Narmada . It was one of the sixteen great states ( Mahajana-padas ) mentioned in early Buddhist texts.In later times it was ruled by the Kalachuris .

Child, Sir Josiah- was the Chairman of Governor of the East India Company.  In 1685 he succeeded in persuading King James II to dispatch an expedition of ten or twelve ships for the purpose of seizing and fortifying Chittagong.The expedition failed miserably and led to the expulsion of the English from Bengal in 1688.

Chitral- a valley lying between  Afghanistan and India, passed under British- Indian rule in 1893 as the result of the acceptance of the Durand line as the boundary between Afghanistan and the British Indian Empire .

Close, Sir Barry (1756-1813 )- came to India in 1771 as an officer in the Company's Madras army, fought in the war against Haidar Ali in 1780 and was present at the siege of Seringapatam in 1792 and again in 1799 and was appointed  the first British Resident in Mysore in 1799. He proved to be a sympathetic guide to the new Raja . 
He was next appointed as Resident at Poona in 1801 and remained there for 10 years. He negotiated with  Peshwa Baji Rao II the treaty of Bassein in December, 1802 . He retired from service in 1811, was created a Baronet and died in  1813.

Conti, Nicolo de- an Italian traveller, visited India early in the fifteenth century and was at Vijayanagar in 1420 when the kingdom was being ruled by king Devaraya II. He has left a very interesting account of the city, the circumference of which he estimated to be sixty miles and the fortifications of which he considered to be very impressive. The city was densely populated and within it there were ninety thousand men fit to bear arms.

Co-operative Movement in India- was started at the suggestion of Frederick Nicholson, a Madras civilian, who recommended it to the notice of the Madras Government in 1892. 
A committee was appointed in 1901 to explore the possibilities and feasibility of the co-operative system in India and an Act was passed in 1904 providing for the starting of rural as well as urban credit societies for helping the people in getting money at reasonable rates of interests and thus escaping the clutches of money lenders .

Cornwallis Code- was promulgated in May , 1793. It was drawn up by Mr. George Barlow , afterwards Governor- General. It defined the changes in internal administration effected during the regime of Lord Cornwallis ( 1786 - 93 ) and formed the basis of the Civil Service in Bengal and later on in India. 
Its fundamental defect was the Company's higher services which were completely Europeanised and thus made too expensive for a poor country like India and too under-manned in view of the vastness  of the country.

Cotton,Sir Henry John Stedman ( 1845-1915 )- entered the Indian Civil service in 1867, rose to be the Chief  Secretary in Bengal in 1891, the Home Secretary to the Government of India in 1896 and the Chief Commissioner of Assam which post he held from 1896 till his retirement in 1902. 
He was a most liberal Civilian and became a leading Champion of Indian nationalism. He was elected to be the President of the 20th session of the In dian National Congress held in Bombay in 1904. 
It was in his Presidential address delivered at this session of the Congress that he visualized for the first time the ideal of "a Federation of free and separate states , the United States of India"

Crewe, Lord- was the Secretary of State for India in 1911-12 when King George V visited India and held a Coronation Durbar in Delhi . At his Durbar the transfer  of the capital from Calcutta to Delhi was  announced. 
The other  important changes announced were the modification of the   partition of Bengal which was henceforth to be administered by a Governor-in-Council, the separation of Bihar and Orissa from Bengal and the creation of a new Lieutenant-Governorship for Bihar, Orissa and Chota Nagpur and the reduction of Assam once more to a Chief-Commissionership.

Cromer , Evelyn Baring, Lord ( 1841-1917 )- made his reputation as an expert in public finance as a member of an international financial board that was set up in 1877 in Egypt.
In 1880 he came out to India as the Finance Member of the Viceroy's Executive Council, a post which he held for three years with success. He was raised to the  peerage in 1892 and earned further laurels by his administration in Egypt.

Cunha, Nuno da- the portuguese  Governor at Diu in 1537, received on board his ship a visit from the contemporary  Sultan of Gujarat, Bahadur Shah ( 1526-37 ) and arranged a treacherous attack on the Sultan when he was alighting from the ship. The Sultan jumped overboard in order to save himself , but was knocked on the head by a Potuguese sailor and killed.

Dasabodha- is a book written by Ramdas, the famous guru of Shivaji , the founder of the Maratha kingdom in the seventeenth century.

Deccan Education Society, the- was founded in 1884 under the inspiration of Justice M. G. Ranade of Maharashtra. Its headquarters were in Bombay and it started with the object of re-modelling the system of education of the young in the country so that they may be better fitted for the service of the country than young men  trained in the  ordinary educational  institutions.

Devarashtra- is a territory whose king Kubera is stated to have been captured and then set free by king Samudragupta ( c A. D. 330-75 ) in the course of his victorious campaign in the Deccan.Smith identified  Devarashtra with the Maratha country, but the recent view  is to place it   in the Vizagapatam district on the eastern coast of India .

Dhananjaya- was the king of Kusthalapura in North Arcot district who, according to the Allahabad inscription, was one of the kings of the Deccan w hom Samudragupta, the second Gupta Emperor, defeated and then set free during his south Indian campaign.

Dharmaratna- an Indian monk residing in Central Asia, went along with Kasyapa Matanga to China in A.D.65  and under the House  monastery at    So-yang and thus  started Buddhism on a proselytising   enterprise  in China.

Dhoyi- was a  court poet  of king Laksmana Sena (A.D.1179-1205 ) of Bengal. His work Pavanadutam,composed on the model of the Meghadutam of  Kalidas, describes an adventure of Laksmana Sena, as the prince.

Digby, John- was the Collector of Rangpur under whom Ram Mohan Roy , then a   young man of about 20 years of age, became employed as a Sheristadar in 1809 at Rangpur.

Durlabhavardhana- founded the Karkota dynasty of kings  in Kashmir  in the seventh century A.D.  His dynasty ruled  over Kashmir till A.D.855 when it was supplanted by the Utpala dynasty. The more famous kings of the dynasty founded by Durlabharvardhana were Lalitaditya and JayapidaVinay aditya.

Ellis, William- was the chief of the English factory at Patna in 1762 when Mir Kasim who had been made the Nawab of Bengal in 1760 , abolished all transit dues of tolls payable by all traders throughout the province of Bengal , Bihar and  Orissa and thus ended the illegal preferential treatment that the East India Company and all its employees had been enjoying for the past few years.

Fakhr-ud-din Abdul Aziz Kufi- was the Qazi of Nishapur who purchased a boy slave, and provided for his religious and military training along with his sons . This boy slave was Qutb-ud -din Aibak who became the first Muslim Sultan of Delhi . 
Fakhr-ud-din's sons later on sold the boy slave to a merchant  who re-sold him at Ghazni.

Fort St. George- was built in 1640 by Francis  Day, a member of the  East   India Company's council at Masulipatam,on a narrow strip of land on the Coromandel coast  of which he got a lease from the neighbouring Hindu Raja of Chandragiri.

Fu-nan- was the earlier Chinese name of the  kingdom of  Kambuja ,modern Cambodia, where a Hindu kingdom was founded by an Indian Brahman named Kaundinya probably in the first century of the Christian era. From  the  sixth century onwards,Fu-nan became completely merged in Kambujadesa.

Gogunda, the battle of- was fought in 1576 between the armies of the mughal Emperor Akbar and Rana Pratap Singh , of Mewar. The Mughal army was led by Kunwar Man Singh of Ambar and was much larger than the Rajput army of the Rana   who fought with great  gyallantry but was defeated. 
He, however, succeeded in escaping death and kept up hostilities with Akbar, till his death  in 1597. The battle was fought in the pass of Haldighat near Gogunda and is often called the battle of  Haldighat.

Government of Burma  Act- was passed by the British Parliament in 1932 . It separated Burma  from India and gave Burma  a separate constitution  on the lines  of the Government  of   India Act, 1921.

Haji  Ahmad- was the brother of   Nawab Alivardi Khan of Bengal (1740-56) whom he  helped to defeat and kill Nawab   SarfarazKhan of Bengal  in the battle of Giria in 1740 and in becoming the Nawab of Bengal.His youngest daughter was the mother of Nawab Siraj -ud-daula (1756-57)of Bengal .

Hara  Datta- was the Raja  of Buran or Bulandshaar when it was invaded by Sultan Mahmud  in 1018. He made peace with the Sultan by ready submission and acceptance of Islam.

Hari Vijaya Suri- was a  prominent Jain teacher who flourished  during  the reign  of Emperor Akbar and was invited by the Mughal Emperor to join in the   religious dis-cussions that  were sponsored by the Emperor and held at the Ibadat Khana at Fatehpur Sikri.

Hasan Ali Abdullah- was the elder   of the Syyid brothers the younger being Husain Ali .

Hasan-un-Nizami- an early Muhammadan historian, wrote the Taj-ul-Ma'asir which is an authoritative account of the sultanate of Delhi.

Hemanta Sena- the second King of the Sena dynasty of Bengal, ruled in the last quarter of the eleventh century A.D. He bore the title of Maharajadhiraha, but he was not as powerful as the title would suggest. Little is known of his activities.

Hislop, Sir Thomas- came to India as the Commander -in-Chief of the Madras army (1814 - 20 ) and commanded  the British forces in the Deccan in the war against the Pindaris ( 1817-18 ) who were suppressed. He also defeated Holkar in the battle of Mahidpur (1817). 
He wanted to secure for the Deccan army the entire booty taken by it during the war. This led to litigation which obliged him to share the booty with the army of Upper India.

Hunter,  Sir William Wilson (1840-1900)- educated at Glasgow , Paris and Bonn,entered the Indian Civil Service  in 1862 and was posted in Bengal . He had a facile pen and made his name as an author and statesman  by publishing the Annals of Rural Bengal in 1868. 
Four years later he gave further proof of his erudition by publishing  a Comparative Dictionary of Non-Aryan Languages of India . He organised the Statistical Survey of India in 23 volumes which testify to his learning and diligence. 
He presided over the Education Commission in 1882-83 and his Report largely influenced the later educational development  in the country. After his retirement in 1887 he edited the Rulers of India series and he himself wrote on Dalhousie and Mayo. 
He wrote a fine style and his books, which were at once immensely informative and pleasant-reading, made India better known to the English-speaking world.

Ibrahim Shah Sharqi- the king of Jaunpur ( 1402-36) was the ablest ruler of the Sharqi dynasty. He was intolerant of Hinduism, but was a man of culture and a patron of art and literature. 
He made Jaunpur an important centre of Muslim learning and beautified the city by constructing many impressive buildings of which the Atala mosque, completed in 1408, was the most prominent.

Ibrahim Sur- the fourth king of the Sur dynasty, ruled only for a short time in 1555. On the restoration of Mughul rule over Delhi by Humayun , Ibrahim Sur fled to Orissa  where he was killed in about 1567.

Ikhtiyar-ud-din Altuniya- was the governor of Bhatinda in the early part of the reign of Sultana Raziya (1236-40). He rose in revolt   against Raziya, defeated and imprisoned her in 1240.But he did not get from Bahram who was now declared sultan, adequate rewards. 
He, therefore, released Raziya from prison ,married her and marched with a large army to Delhi with a view to restore his newly wedded wife to the throne.But he was defeated in the battle of Kaithal and he and Raziya were murderd on the day following their defeat.

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