UPSC 2020 GS Prelims History section explanation I analysis I Frontier IAs coaching
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UPSC 2020 GS Prelims History section explanation I analysis I Frontier IAS coaching

These questions were asked by UPSC in GS Paper Prelims on the 4th Oct 2020 exam 

Total 12 questions were asked which are given below with answers, explanations,s, and sources. One question was from ancient history, 2 questions were from  medieval history and 9 questions were from Modern India. Details are given below. 

Ancient India Questions asked 

1. Q62. With reference to the period of Gupta Dynasty in ancient India, the towns Ghantasala, Kadura and Chaul were well known as

  1. Ports handling foreign trade
  2. Capitals of powerful kingdoms
  3. Places of exquisite stone art and architecture
  4. Important Buddhist pilgrimage centres

Ancient History

Answer: (a)

Explanation: Both internal and foreign trade flourished during the Gupta period. Trade was carried on both by land and sea. The main articles of internal trade were cloth, foodgrains, spices, salt, bullion and precious stones. The trade was carried on by road and through rivers. The wealth of the Roman Empire reached India through the ports of Kalyan, Chaul, Broach, and Cambay in Western India. Tamralipti was an important port in Bengal. It carried on trade with China, Lanka, Java and Sumatra. In the Andhra region, the ports were Kadura and Ghantasala, Kaveripattanam (Puhar) and Tondail were the ports of the Pandya region. The ports of Kottayam and Muziris were on the Malabar coast.

Source: https://books.google.co.in/books?id=7TJlDwAAQBAJ&pg=PA423&lpg=PA423&dq=The+wealth+of+the+Roman+Empire+reached+India+through+the+ports+of+Kalyan,+Chaul,+Broach,+and+Cambay+in+Western+India.&source=bl&ots=SLSGCk2ELr&sig=ACfU3U0q-8y798Sobe3ZCaCsBFPz93r-Pg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjdspq1-J_sAhV9yDgGHdXIAPwQ6AEwA3oECAEQAg#v=onepage&q=The%20wealth%20of%20the%20Roman%20Empire%20reached%20India%20through%20the%20ports%20of%20Kalyan%2C%20Chaul%2C%20Broach%2C%20and%20Cambay%20in%20Western%20India.&f=false

Level of difficulty: Difficult

Medieval India 

1. Q44. Consider the following events in the history of India:

  1. Rise of the Pratiharas under King bhoja
  2. Establishment of Pallava power under Mahendravarman-I
  3. Establishment of Chola power by Parantaka-I
  4. Pala dynasty founded by Gopala

What is the correct chronological order of the above events, starting from the earliest time?

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

Medieval History

Answer: (c)

Explanation: King Bhoja’s reign: 836–885 CE

Mahendravarman-I’s reign: 600–630 CE

Parantaka-I’s reign: 907 – 955 CE

Gopala’s reign: 750–770 CE

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mihira_Bhoja

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahendravarman_I

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parantaka_I

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gopala_I

Level of Difficulty: Moderate

 

2. Q45. Which of the following phrases defines the nature of the ‘Hundi’ generally referred to in the sources of the post-Harsha period?

  1. An advisory issued by the king to his subordinates
  2. A diary to be maintained for daily accounts
  3. A bill of exchange
  4. An order from the feudal lord to his subordinates

Medieval History 

Answer: (c)

Explanation: Hundi/Hundee is a financial instrument that developed in Medieval India for use in trade and credit transactions. Hundis are used as a form of remittance instrument to transfer money from place to place, as a form of credit instrument or IOU to borrow money and as a bill of exchange in trade transactions. The Reserve Bank of India describes the Hundi as "an unconditional order in writing made by a person directing another to pay a certain sum of money to a person named in the order."

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hundi#:~:text=Hundi%2FHundee%20is%20a%20financial,of%20exchange%20in%20trade%20transactions.

Level of Difficulty: Difficult

Modern History 

1. Q12. In the context of Indian History, the rakhmabai case of 1884 revolved around

  1. Women’s right to gain education
  2. Age of consent 
  3. Restitution of conjugal rights

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Modern History

Answer: (b)

Explanation: Dr. Rukhmabai is best known for being one of the first practicing women doctors in colonial India as well as being involved in a landmark legal case involving her marriage as a child bride between 1884 and 1888. In 1884, Rukhmabai was taken to Bombay high court by her husband Bhikaji after she refused to live with him. In 1885, the case of Bhikaji seeking "restitution of conjugal rights" titled "Bhikaji vs. Rukhmabai, 1885" came up for hearing. In 1887, Rukhmabai lost the case and was ordered to "go live with her husband or face six months of imprisonment". Rukhmabai responded that she would rather face imprisonment than obey the verdict. In 1888, a settlement was reached with Bhikaji and he relinquished his claim on Rukhmabai for a payment of two thousand rupees. The case generated a great deal of debate both within India and England. Ultimately, the publicity and debate generated by this case helped influence the enactment of the "Age of Consent Act" in 1891, which changed the age of consent from 10 to 12 years across British India.

Behramji Merwanji Malabari, an Indian poet, publicist, author and social reformer, was at the forefront of support for the Age of Consent Act, 1891. Bal Gangadhar Tilak, on the other hand, was opposed to it.

Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rukhmabai 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_Consent_Act,_1891 

https://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/164670/10/10_chapter%205.pdf

Level of Difficulty- Difficult

 

2. Q13. Indigo cultivation in India declined by the beginning of the 20th century because of 

  1. Peasant resistance to the oppressive conduct of planters
  2. Its unprofitability in the world market because of new inventions
  3. National leaders’ opposition to the cultivation of indigo
  4. Government control over the planters

Modern History

Answer: (b)

Explanation: By the 20th century a commercially feasible manufacturing process of indigo was developed, which led to drastic drop of demand for indigo from plant sources. Consequently, both the tenants and the planters suffered economically. The European planters came up with several methods to minimize their losses by extracting money from the peasants. Rajkumar Shukla, a Champaran farmer no longer able to stand the oppression, went to see Mahatma Gandhi at an Indian National Congress meeting. In 1917, Mahatma Gandhi, along with Shukla, left for the Champaran region to understand the woes of farmers there. And that led to the historical Champaran Satyagraha.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indigo_dye#Synthetic_development

Ncert of 8th class

Level of difficulty: Easy

 

3. Q14. Wellesley established the fort William College at Calcutta because

  1. He was asked by the Board of Directors at London to do so
  2. He wanted to revive interest in oriental learning in India
  3. He wanted to provide William Carey and his associate with employment 
  4. He wanted to train British Civilians for administrative purpose in India 

Modern History

Answer: (d)

Explanation: Fort William College was an academy of oriental studies and a centre of learning, founded on 10 July 1800 by Lord Wellesley, then Governor-General of British India, located within the Fort William complex in Calcutta. Wellesley backdated the statute of foundation to 4 May 1800, to commemorate the first anniversary of his victory over Tipu Sultan at Seringapatam. Fort William College aimed at training British officials in Indian languages to make administration better and, in the process, fostered the development of languages such as Bengali and Urdu.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_William_College#Languages

https://www.livehistoryindia.com/cover-story/2019/08/22/fort-william-college-its-ironic-legacy 

12th class ncert

Level of difficulty: Easy

 

4. Q15. With reference to the history of India, “Ulgulan” or the Great Tumult is the description of which of the following events?

  1. The Revolt of 1857 
  2. The Mappila Rebellion of 1921
  3. The Indigo Revolt of 1859-60
  4. Birsa Munda’s Revolt of 1899-1900

Modern India 

Answer: (d)

Explanation: Munda Rebellion is one of the prominent 19th century tribal rebellions in the subcontinent. Birsa Munda led this movement in the region south of Ranchi in 1899-1900. The ulgulan, meaning 'Great Tumult', sought to establish Munda Raj and independence.

Source: https://www.outlookindia.com/newsscroll/tribal-freedom-fighter-birsa-munda-remembered/1861190

Bipin chandra’s India’s struggle for Independence

Level of difficulty: Easy

 

5. Q41. With reference to the history of India, consider the following pairs:

  1. Aurang Incharge of treasury of the State
  2. Banian Indian agent of the East India Company
  3. Mirasidar Designated revenue payer to the State

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

Modern History 

Answer: (b)

Explanation: 

Aurang is the Persian term for throne.

The word banian or banyan is to be found throughout the annals of the East India Company and describes the Indian brokers or traders who acted as intermediaries between the European merchants and their Indian counterparts.

Under the ryotwari settlement system, the government recognized mirasidars as the sole proprietors of land, dismissing tenants' rights completely.

Source: https://www.urdupoint.com/islamic-names/aurang-name-meaning-in-english-110.html#:~:text=Aurang%20is%20a%20Muslim%20Boy,of%20Aurang%20name%20is%207.

http://www.motilalseal.com/msp/banian/

https://www.encyclopedia.com/international/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/land-tenure-1800-1947#:~:text=Under%20them%20was%20a%20group,%2C%20dismissing%20tenants'%20rights%20completely.

Level of difficulty: Difficult

 

6. Q43. Which of the following statements correctly explains the impact of Industrial Revolution on India during the first half of the nineteenth century?

  1. Indian handicrafts were ruined.
  2. Machines were introduced in the Indian textile industry in large numbers.
  3. Railway lines were laid in many parts of the country.
  4. Heavy duties were imposed on the imports of British manufactures.

Modern History 

Answer and explanation 

Answer: (a)

Explanation: One of the most important consequences of British Rule was the decline and destruction of urban and rural handicraft industries. Manufactured goods from Britain were priced low. Hence, Indian

handicrafts could not face competition and thus were ruined. This is called deindustrialization of India.

The first cotton mill in India was established in 1818 at Fort Gloster near Kolkata but was a commercial failure. The second cotton mill in India was established by KGN Daber in 1854 and was named Bombay Spinning and Weaving Company. This mill is said to mark the true foundation of the modern cotton industry in India. In Ahmedabad - also referred to as the ‘Manchester of India’ - the opening of Shahpur mill in 1861 and Calico mill in 1863 marked the city’s spectacular rise as one of the world’s prime cotton manufacturing locales. However, the real expansion of the cotton textile industry in India took place in the 1870s.

Railway lines were laid in many parts of the country in the second half of the nineteenth century.

The British government imposed heavy tariffs on the export of Indian handicraft products and allowed free exports of Indian raw materials to Britain and free imports of British products to India.

Source: https://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/66023/15/15_chapter%201.pdf

https://www.investindia.gov.in/team-india-blogs/cotton-textile-industry-india#:~:text=The%20first%20cotton%20mill%20in,Bombay%20Spinning%20and%20Weaving%20Company.

https://artsandculture.google.com/exhibit/a-history-of-indian-railways-national-rail-museum/TwJi7RwiKiTtKg?hl=en

https://ncert.nic.in/ncerts/l/keec101.pdf

Level of difficulty: Easy

 

7. Q46. With reference to the book “Desher Katha” written by Sakharam Ganesh Deuskar during the freedom struggle, consider the following statements:

  1. It warned against the Colonial State’s hypnotic conquest of the mind.
  2. It inspired the performance of swadeshi street plays and folk songs.
  3. The use of ‘desh’ by Deuskar was in the specific context of the region of Bengal.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

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

 

Modern History

Answer and explanation 

Answer: (a)

Explanation: Sakharam Ganesh Deuskar (1869-1912) a close associate of Sri Aurobindo. He was a Maharashtrian revolutionary who was an able writer in Bengali. He published a book entitled Desher Katha describing in exhaustive detail the British commercial and industrial exploitation of India. According to Sri Aurobindo, the book had an immense repercussion in Bengal and captured the mind of young Bengal, and assisted more than anything else in the preparation of the Swadeshi movement. At the time when this book was written in Bangla, the partition of Bengal had not taken place. People were skeptical of Lord Curzon's motives, but they were still under the hypnotic trance of the British. Deuskar was the first to bring in the name of Swaraj, and Sri Aurobindo was the first to endow it with its English equivalent, 'Independence.'

Source: https://motherandsriaurobindo.in/_StaticContent/SriAurobindoAshram/-03%20The%20Ashram/Inspiring%20Connections/Sakharam%20Ganesh%20Deuskar.htm

Level of Difficulty: Difficult

 

8. Q47. The Gandhi-Irwin Pact included which of the following?

  1. Invitation to Congress to participate in the Round Table Conference
  2. Withdrawal of Ordinances promulgated in connection with the Civil Disobedience Movement
  3. Acceptance of Gandhiji’s suggestion for enquiry into police excesses
  4. Release of only those prisoners who were not charged with violence

Select the correct answer from the code given below:

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

Modern History 

Answer and explanation 

Answer: (b)

Explanation: The British Government agreed to:

Withdraw all ordinances and end prosecutions; Release all political prisoners, except those guilty of violence; Permit peaceful picketing of liquor and foreign cloth shops; Restore confiscated properties of the satyagrahis; Permit free collection or manufacture of salt by persons near the sea-coast; Lift the ban over the Congress.

The Indian National Congress agreed to discontinue the Civil Disobedience movement (Mahatma Gandhi had all along made it clear that civil disobedience could not be finally stopped or given up, as it was the only weapon in the hands of the people.It could, however be suspended.Ultimately the word "discontinued" was used). The Congress also agreed to participate in the second Round Table Conference to chalk out constitutional reforms. Mahatma Gandhi was able to secure a concession on salt tax.

Lord Irwin refused the police enquiry. The most he was ready to do was to have any case investigated on the spot by the local authorities.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gandhi%E2%80%93Irwin_Pact

https://www.thehindu.com/features/kids/gandhi-irwin-pact-between-india-and-the-british/article8309181.ece

https://www.gandhiheritageportal.org/gandhi-irwin-pact

Level of Difficulty: Easy

 

9. Q48. The Vital-Vidhvansak, the first monthly journal to have the untouchable people as its target audience was published by

  1. Gopal Baba Walangkar
  2. Jyotiba Phule
  3. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
  4. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar

Modern History

Answer and explanation 

Answer: (a)

Explanation: Gopal Baba Walangkar, also known as Gopal Krishna, was an activist working to release the “untouchable” people of India from their historic socio-economic oppression, and is generally considered to be the pioneer of that movement. He developed a racial theory to explain the oppression and in 1888 began publishing the monthly journal titled Vital-Vidhvansak (Destroyer of Brahmanical or Ceremonial Pollution), which was the first to have the “untouchable” people as its target audience.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gopal_Baba_Walangkar

Level of difficulty: Moderate